NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights: May 26, 2009


This meeting was led by David Novak (HPC) and attended by Dan Starosta (NCO), Chris Caruso Magee (NCO); Rebecca Cosgrove (NCO); Eric Rogers (EMC); Yuejian Zhu (EMC); Mary Hart (EMC); Hendrik Tolman (EMC); Bill Bua (COMET/NCEP); Mike Brennan (TPC); Richard Pasch (TPC); Ed Danaher (HPC); Steve Silberberg (AWC); David Bright (SPC); Kathy Gilbert (MDL); Pete Browning (Central Region); and David Myrick (Western Region).


1. NCO


Dan Starosta reported on the status of the new Power-6 machines (cirrus and stratus). Cirrus is running well and all codes have been migrated.  Recent facilities work at Gathersberg, MD (where stratus is being installed) have also gone well. The computer moratorium is scheduled, per the IBM contract, to end no later than October of 2009. The current thinking is it will most likely end towards the end of July, but the specific date is dependent on the length of acceptance testing for Stratus. Once the moratorium ends, the HWRF implementation will occur (updated GSI for initial and boundary conditions, scripting updates, and restart capability), followed by the SREF and GEFS implementations (see below).


Chris Caruso Magee noted that Requests for Change (RFCs) will take a bit of time (1 week minimum) to address after stratus is accepted.


Kathy Gilbert noted discrepancies between operational MDL products on Mist and those on Cirrus, and wondered to what degree this was a concern. Eric Rogers noted that they have also seen differences, and they are likely due to small differences in the data streams available to Mist and Cirrus, that can grow via data assimilation. A re-synch between Mist and Cirrus will fix this issue, although a specific re-synch date has not been scheduled yet.





2a. Global Climate and Weather Modeling Branch (GCWMB)

No report.


2b. Global Ensemble Prediction System


Yuejian Zhu is testing a parallel GEFS which increases member resolution from T126 to T190, adds a stochastic perturbation scheme, and uses 8th order horizontal diffusion for all resolutions. Tests show improved forecast skill and reliability. Additionally, several new variables will be included in the “pgrba” files, including 10, 50, and 100 mb level data, surface and top of atmosphere flux data, and soil data, CIN, and 9 near-surface downscaled and bias-corrected variables (srf pressure, T2m, U10m and V10m, T2mmax, T2mmin, Wind direction and Wind speed, working on T2m dew point temperature) for CONUS and Alaska.


This GEFS upgrade is third in the queue when the computer moratorium is lifted (see above section 1).


2c. Mesoscale Modeling Branch (MMB)


WRF-NMM Eric Rogers reported that the WRF-NMM has a parallel on Cirrus. Testing for minor bug fixes is occurring, including testing an improvement in the NAM GOES look-alike product.



MMB is recasting MMB models into the National Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) framework. Of particular interest is that the current WRF-NMM run in the NAM slot will be replaced with the NEMS-NMMb (“b” is the grid type) run, scheduled sometime in FY2010. Testing of the assimilation system in the NEMS framework has just started.


2d. Short Range Ensemble Forecast System (SREF)


The new SREF is running in parallel on Cirrus. Recent post-processing failures have occurred for the Eta members on both the parallel and operational versions. These failures are being investigated.


The new SREF implementation is now expected late in the Q4 of FY09 or Q1 of FY10. This implementation will upgrade the WRF members to the latest available version and increase the resolution of the RSM and WRF members to 32 km (to match the Eta members).  Also, the components making up the SREF will be adjusted to include more WRF members. The new SREF will be composed of:

            6 Eta members

            5 RSM members

            10 WRF members (5 NMM, 5 ARW)

For more details see:



2e. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch


Hendrik Tolman reported that the Great Lakes model has been affected by erroneous wind values from NDFD. It appears that the NDFD land/lake mask is different than the model land/lake mask. An RFC is being developed to address the problem.


The next three implementations planed are:

Atlantic RTOFS: improved ocean model and assimilation of new satellite data.

Global Wave Model (Wavewatch III): extension of domain into Arctic and output provided “on-the-fly” as it is run.

Hurricane Wave Model: Add multigrid capability, improving resolution along the coast from ~25 km à ~7 km.

No implementation dates have been set at this point.


TPC was interested in seeing the updated Hurricane Wave Model guidance. Hendrik noted that test cases have been run and graphics are available.




3a. MDL

Nothing to report.


3b. NCEP Centers and NWS Regions


No issues were brought up by the centers and regions participating in the call.


4. The next Synergy Meeting will be held at 2:30 pm EDT on Monday, June 29, 2009 in room 209, with remote teleconferencing capability.