NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights: August 3, 2009


This meeting was led by David Novak (HPC) and attended by Chris Caruso Magee (NCO); Rebecca Cosgrove (NCO); John Ward (EMC); Eric Rogers (EMC); Yuejian Zhu (EMC); Hendrik Tolman (EMC); Mary Hart (EMC); Chad Cary (EMC); Bill Bua (UCAR/COMET); Stephen Jascourt (UCAR/COMET); Brian Solomon (AWC); Joe Sienkiewicz (OPC); Richard Knabb (CPHC); Jim Hoke (HPC); Keith Brill (HPC); Kathy Gilbert (MDL); Bill Ward (PR) Ken Pomeroy (WR); Carven Scott  (AR); Pete Browning (CR); and Bernard Meisner (SR).


1. NCO (Chris Caruso Magee)


Production will move to Stratus (the new computer) August 18. This signifies the completion of the new computer migration. A live switchover test is scheduled August 10, in which products will be disseminated from Stratus.


Implementations are planned to occur in the following order:

1)     Short-Range Ensemble Forecast system (SREF)

2)     Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS)

3)     Real-Time Ocean Forecast System (RTOFS)

4)     Hurricane WRF

5)     Global Forecast System (GFS)

Simultaneous 30 day NCO parallel tests are expected to occur in association with the SREF, GEFS, and RTOFs implementations. Parallels are not expected to begin until early September. Technical Implementation Notices (TINs) are expected to be developed / distributed shortly.





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

The next GFS implementation (#5 above) will include both model and data assimilation (GSI) changes. The model changes include merging the GFS and GDAS post processing, while the assimilation changes would include various new data types (not yet determined). GCWMB is finalizing the package and a TIN is in progress.


A bug fix affecting GFS BUFR temperature profiles has been submitted to NCO and should be implemented by August 18 when the new computer becomes operational.


Changes to the shallow and deep convection parameterizations in the GFS are being tested on a T126 version of the model. Initial results show a dramatic reduction in grid point storms (colloquially known as “precip bombs” or “grid-scale feedback”), which have plagued the GFS. The T126 results showed a marked improvement in nearly all the standard verification statistics. Tests will continue on a T382 GFS version. If the results hold at this higher resolution, the change may mark a substantial breakthrough. The change would be scheduled for Q2 2010.


The next GFS implementation is planned for Q3 2010. This implementation increases the GFS resolution (to T574 64L).


The GCWMB is also working on an improvement to the positive definite moisture scheme, which would be included in one of the upcoming implementations.


2b. Global Ensemble Prediction System


The next GEFS upgrade is imminent (see above). The implementation 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, and CIN.


2c. Mesoscale Modeling Branch (MMB) (Eric Rogers)


The SREF implementation is imminent (see above, also:


NAM – minor changes are expected in FY2010, including improvements to the GOES look-alike satellite product.


The next large implementation will be transitioning the WRF-NMM to the National Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) framework. This transition allows the establishment of 4 km nests over the CONUS and Alaska. Progress has been made in developing the assimilation component. The physics configuration has not yet been determined. NAM transition to NEMS is now planned for the 1st or 2nd quarter FY2011.


2d. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch (Hendrik Tolman)


The Atlantic RTOFS implementation is imminent (see above section 1). This implementation improves the ocean model and assimilation of new satellite data, and is a substantial improvement over the current RTOFS.


Additional MMAB planned implementations include:

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.

HYCOM: Global model resolution increased to 1/12th degree.


No implementation dates have been set at this point for these three improvements.


It was additionally reported that a bug (land-sea mask shift) affected the coastal SST retrievals in the High-resolution RTG SST analysis near the coast. This will be addressed as a bug fix.





3a. MDL (Kathy Gilbert)

MDL, NCO, and HPC are exploring extending MOS guidance projections.


MDL is working with NCO to add additional exceedance probability values to the probabilistic storm surge model output.


3b. NCEP Centers and NWS Regions


OPC – Joe Sienkiewicz asked about the EMC/NCO effort to expand the ECMWF deterministic, ECMWF wave, and ECMWF ensemble data available to NCEP Centers (see last month’s notes). NCO expects to test turning on the data stream after production is transitioned to Stratus. Depending on results, the data stream may be opened to remote centers.


HPC – Dave Novak inquired as to the status of the assimilation of TAMDAR data. NCO confirmed that the assimilation of TAMDAR data has been restored.


AR – Carven Scott informed the group that the Shemya Island, AK sounding site (70414) will be out from August 15 – Sept 30.


CR – Pete Browning asked if a consolidated time line of the various implementations could be developed and distributed to the field. The NCEP Annual Operating Plan time line will be provided (in September).


4. The next Synergy Meeting will be held at 2:30 pm EDT on Monday, August 31, 2009 in room 209, with remote teleconferencing capability.