NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights: July 26, 2010


This meeting was led by David Novak (HPC) and attended by Geoff Dimego (EMC); John Ward (EMC); Vera Gerald (EMC); Arun Chawla (EMC); Hua-Lu Pan (EMC); Mary Hart (EMC); Joe Carr (NCO); Phil Shafer (MDL); Steve Weiss (SPC); Andy Dean (SPC); Ed Danaher (HPC); Keith Brill (HPC); Joe Sienkiewicz (OPC); Andy Edman (WR); Pete Browning (CR); Bernard Meisner (SR); and Brian Miretzky (ER);


1. NCO (Chris Caruso Magee via email)



-Implementation scheduled for 12 UTC 28 July. EMC and NCO thanked the NCEP Centers and Regions for their support throughout the implementation process.



-Changes to the GFS MOS BUFR to properly pack opaque sky cover categorical guidance scheduled for August 3.



-2.5 km RTMA CONUS upgrade is scheduled for September 28. This RTMA will be run separate from the 5 km RTMA. RTMA Hawaii and Guam may go in the same week.


Hurricane Wave Model.

A parallel is available, however data will arrive 27 minutes later. Polling service centers regarding impact and required GEMPAK data.


Gridded LAMP

Gridded LAMP ceiling and visibility products are scheduled to be implemented September 28


Great Lakes Operational Forecast System Wave Model.

NOS has indicated they would like to move the system from parallel to production. This move is expected in September.


Air Quality

Air Quality products for Alaska and Hawaii are expected to be moved from parallel into production. Final IT testing ongoing.



Dust in production but data to be moved from experimental to operational area of the TOC.


For the latest schedule updates see:




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



Major Changes Implemented July 28. The upgrade to the GFS involves a increase in resolution from T382 (35 km) to T574 (27 km) and a series of significant changes to the model physics (see attached ppt).

These changes have resulted in a significant reduction in grid-point storms and an major improvement in precipitation threat scores during the convective season.  Hurricane track forecast have improved by approximately 10% at day-5 in the Atlantic and by 50% in the Eastern Pacific.  Hurricane intensity errors have been reduced by 30% at day-5 in the Atlantic and 50% in EPAC.

During evaluations by the NCEP Centers three areas of concern have been identified.  There has been an increase in the negative speed bias throughout most of the atmosphere, which has resulted in weaker upper level jet maxima in higher latitudes and low level jets in the tropics.  These weaker wind speeds are also evident in the tropical stratosphere.  The low level warm temperature bias over land (T2M) has also increased and there has been some cooling in the stratosphere.

The vertical profile of the background diffusion has been identified as the source wind speed error.  Test are currently underway to modify the profile to reduce the wind error without reducing the benefits from the new system. A combination of the PBL and shallow convection changes is the most likely source of the T2M bias.  A new thermal roughness length algorithm has been develop to reduce this error and is also currently being test.  Finally, the stratospheric cooling is due to the removal of negative moisture.  A fix for this issue is also being tested.

These changes will be implemented as soon as testing is complete and the change can be scheduled for implementation.  It is expected that implementation would be in approximately 6 months.



Updates to the datatypes are expected to be made in January 2011.


Climate Forecast System v2.0

Working assimilation aspects of a major upgrade to the Climate Forecast System (CFS 2.0). EMC expects to provide NCO the code by late September. Initial plans are for a late December implementation.


2b. Mesoscale Modeling Branch (MMB) (Geoff Dimego)



Established a separate 2.5 km CONUS version that will run at the same time as the current 5 km RTMA. The 2.5 km CONUS RTMA will feature improvements to the analysis system, including the use of First Guess at Appropriate Time (FGAT). FGAT allows for better assimilation of off-hour observations. A RTMA domain covering the Canadian regions of the NWRFC domain. This implementation will also update the QC station lists submitted by the regions.  Implementation is targeted for September 28.


High Resolution Window Runs

Plans include upgrading the WRF code version (to v3.2) and adding a 2x daily run to cover Guam (which would use GFS initial and boundary conditions). The newer WRF versions for both NMM and ARW use a more conservative advection scheme which has the effect of reducing QPF bias. The run over Guam would replace the current RSM runs over Guam and Hawaii, and provide the first guess for the Guam RTMA. Additionally the Puerto Rico domain is to be expanded to cover Hispaniola.No implementation dates have been scheduled.


Reinstatement of the Fire Weather nests are planed for FY11Q2. The nests are run at ~1.3 km over domains of ~ 700 x 700 km. The data is expected to be distributed via Fx-Net.



The next large implementation will be transitioning the WRF-NMM to the NMM-B and embedding this model within the National Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) framework sometime in FY2011. This transition allows the establishment of 4 km nests over the CONUS, a 6 km nest over Alaska, and 3 km nests for Puerto Rico and Hawaii, while the parent domain remains at 12 km. An internal EMC parallel has been running.


Given the current AWIPS and SBN moratoriums, MMB is considering distributing the nests within the NAM DNG slots.



A upgrade is being planned for FY11Q3 which replaces the remaining Eta and RSM members with NEMS-NMM-B members. This upgrade would also increase resolution to ~22-25 km, add a BUFR output, and may transition to an ensemble perturbation approach.  The WRF Development Testbed Center (DTC) is helping evaluate different perturbation possibilities. The Eta and RSM models will be discontinued, pending all dependencies on Eta and RSM models can be removed.


Rapid Refresh

MMB is working with GSD on implementation details of the Rapid Refresh. The Rapid Refresh will replace the RUC. Implementation is tentatively planned for Q2 of FY11.


2c. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch (Vera Gerald)


RFCs are in place to restart the model with the new GFS.


Hurricane Wave Model.

Given the large increase in resolution, and increase in number of elements the data will arrive 27 minutes later. Polling service centers regarding impact and required GEMPAK data.


Global Hycom

An EMC parallel is running. Expect to start a NCO parallel this fall.



3a. MDL (Kathy Gilbert)

-Gridded LAMP ceiling and visibility products are expected to be implemented in September 28


-2.5 km Gridded MOS (GMOS) grids for CONUS are currently on MDL server. Still need to transitioned to operational server.


-The implementation of the GFS-based gridded MOS guidance over Hawaii is expected November 2, 2010.



3b. NCEP Centers and NWS Regions


EMC The NCEP Annual Operating Plan meeting is the week of Aug 24. Input for FY11 priorities should be communicated prior to that event.


OPC Asked for clarification on the recent cyclone tracker implementation. New tracker retains identification of systems through their lifecycle.


SR Appreciated continued NCEP support for the Deepwater Horizon Spill. Related field feedback regarding RTOFs handling of the Gulf Stream. Feedback passed to EMC.


CR How best to distribute the NAM nests? Using the DNG AWIPS slot as well as via NOMADS are leading options, but are not ideal.

4. The next Synergy Meeting will be held at 2:30 pm EDT on Monday, August 30, 2010 in room 209, with remote teleconferencing capability.