NCEP Modeling Synergy Meeting Highlights: June 30, 2008


This meeting was led by Mike Brennan and attended by Ken Campana, Geoff DiMego, Hendrik Tolman, Mary Hart, Bill Bua, and Zoltan Toth. Stephen Jascourt of UCAR/COMET, David Bright of SPC, Pete Browning of NWS Central Region, David Novak of NWS Eastern Region attended by remote teleconference.


1. NCO


No representative from NCO was present.


A detailed list of all upcoming upgrades and implementations can be found here.




2a. Global Climate and Weather Modeling Branch


Ken Campana reported that Mark Iredell will be stepping down as branch chief in the next month or two. Mark will be taking a position to work on the development and testing of the National Environmental Modeling System (NEMS).


2b. Mesoscale Modeling Branch


Geoff DiMego discussed the upcoming NAM implementation. The code bundle is currently being tested and will be frozen in July with a tentative implementation scheduled for November. This bundle currently includes the following:


        A change to the NDAS to allow the use of partial cycling; using global background atmospheric fields at T-12 instead of fully cycling with NDAS fields. This change is expected to result in improvement in the forecast beyond 36 hours.

        The addition of several new data types, including TAMDAR, Canadian AMDAR, MetOp satellite data, and additional mesonet data.

        Minor land surface changes.

        A change to the shallow convection scheme.


David Bright reported that SPC has noticed earlier arrival of Hi-Res Window (HRW) output, and that they are also receiving hourly output files. SPC forecasters are now using the HRW data to the point that they notice its absence when the runs are preempted by GFDL/HWRF runs. Geoff stated that the 4-km Matt Pyle run is still performed once daily even when the hurricane runs pre-empt the HRW runs. Geoff also stated that HRW soundings in BUFR output will be coming in the future.


The RTMA for Hawaii and Puerto Rico will be implemented soon.


Downscaled NWP Grids (DNG) for the CONUS, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico will soon be produced in real time. Geoff pointed out two differences between the DNG grids and those created locally using SmartInit:


1)     The PoP formulation is improved, using input from the SREF in addition to scaled NAM QPF

2)     Weather type grids will not be produced initially, due to complications of grib packing for that parameter


The next step will be to produce DNG grids from the GFS and compare the output to the DGEX, to investigate whether the DGEX can eventually be discontinued.


2c. Global Ensemble Prediction System


Zoltan Toth reported that 1015 variables will be added to the NAEFS output later this year. Downscaled NAEFS output will also be available soon over Alaska, and wind speed and direction output will also be added for the CONUS and Alaska.


An upgrade for the GEFS is scheduled for the 4th quarter of FY08. The following changes are being tested:


        An increase in grid resolution for the first 7.5 days of the run from T126 to T190 or an increase in grid resolution from T126 to T190 for the entire length of the GEFS run

        Running the 00Z GEFS cycle out to 31 or 35 days

        Horizontal diffusion changes

        Stochastic perturbations of time tendencies from physical parameterizations to increase spread


Zoltan reported that next year the winter storm reconnaissance program will be conducted in conjunction with the winter TPARC experiment from January through March 2009. During part of this time, the G-IV will be based in Japan and will be targeting observations for forecast improvements in the 35 day time period.


Zoltan noted that there will be a NAEFS workshop held at the World Weather Building from 68 October 2008, followed by a TPARC meeting from 810 October.


2d. Short Range Ensemble Forecast System


Geoff DiMego reported that the next SREF upgrade is in testing now, with code to be delivered to NCO in July and implementation tentatively scheduled for September.


This upgrade will include:


        Adjusting the components of the SREF to include more WRF members.

The new SREF will be composed of:


o       6 Eta members (3 BMJ, 3 KF)

o       5 RSM members

o       10 WRF members (5 NMM, 5 ARW)


        Updating the version of the RSM, NMM, and ARW members (WRF members will be updated to version 2.2)

        An increase in the horizontal grid resolution of all members to 32 km

        Including BUFR sounding output from individual members

        Note: Gravity-wave drag will not be included in the new SREF NMM members


2e. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch


Hendrik Tolman reported that the branch is working on testing the Great Lakes wave model using NDFD winds as input. The reliability of the data stream is being tested, and access to pre-masked NDFD grids that provide wind data over the Canadian Great Lakes waters is needed.


Work is also underway to incorporate circulation models from NOS and GLERL into ESMF and eventually develop a fully coupled system.


Hendrik also noted that the newly implemented wave ensemble has output out to 10 days, utilizing bias-corrected winds and cycling, resulting in improved spread of the initial wave field. Wave model output from FNMOC is being tested for future incorporation into the ensemble.




Eastern Region


David Novak reported that MDL extratropical storm surge grids are being provided to coastal WFOs in Eastern Region.


4. The next Synergy Meeting will be held Monday, July 28, 2008, at 12:00 pm EDT in Room 209 at EMC, with remote conference capability.