NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights: August 31, 2009


This meeting was led by David Novak (HPC) and attended by Dan Starosta (NCO), Joe Carr (NCO); Rebecca Cosgrove (NCO); Bradley Mabe (NCO); John Ward (EMC); Geoff Dimego (EMC); Yuejian Zhu (EMC); Vera Gerald (EMC); Mary Hart (EMC); Chad Cary (EMC); Stephen Jascourt (UCAR/COMET); Steve Silberberg (AWC); Russ Schneider (SPC); Steve Weiss (SPC); Jason Levit (SPC); Mike Brennan (TPC); Richard Knabb (CPHC); Ed Danaher (HPC); Keith Brill (HPC); Kathy Gilbert (MDL); Dave Myrick (WR); Don Moore  (AR); and Bernard Meisner (SR).


1. NCO (Dan Starosta)


Production moved to Stratus (the new computer) August 12. This signifies completion of the new computer migration.


Implementations are planned to occur in the following order:

1)     Short-Range Ensemble Forecast system (SREF)

2)     Real-Time Ocean Forecast System (RTOFS)

3)     Hurricane WRF (HWRF)

4)     Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS)

5)     Global Forecast System (GFS)

A shortened 2 week parallel test is expected for the SREF, with EMC validation of the results. 30 day NCO parallel tests are expected to occur in association with the RTOFs and HWRF implementations. Parallels are not expected to begin until mid September. Technical Implementation Notices (TINs) are expected to be developed / distributed shortly.


TPC asked whether adding a 5th slot for hurricane runs was possible with the new computer. NCO and EMC confirmed that 5 systems can be run simultaneously with the new computer, and will coordinate with TPC.


Based on previously submitted requirements, NCO has been exploring an expansion of the ECMWF elements provided to NCEP centers (1 degree resolution). NCO hopes to turn on the additional ECMWF deterministic, ensemble, and wave data in late September. This data would be available to both local and remote NCEP Centers.



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

On August 25 the GFS BUFR sounding output was fixed to correct a problem with temperature consistency between the BUFR soundings and the GFS 40 km grids.


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, including new satellite data. A TIN is in progress for a planned implementation of December 8, 2009.


Changes to the shallow and deep convection parameterizations in the GFS have been tested at T126 resolution and recently at T382 resolution. For both resolutions there is a dramatic reduction in grid point storms (colloquially known as “precip bombs” or “grid-scale feedback”), which have plagued the GFS. There is also marked improvement in nearly all the standard verification statistics. Minor issues will continue to be addressed in the T382 GFS version. The change would be scheduled for March 2010.


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


A Climate Forecast System (CFS) upgrade is expected Q4 2010.


2b. Global Ensemble Prediction System (John Ward)

The next GEFS upgrade (see above) has been temporarily delayed due to a few issues in the Request For Change (RFCs), but should be restarted soon. 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)(Geoff Dimego)


The SREF implementation is imminent (see above, also: A new TIN will be issued since the SREF upgrade will also include a ceiling product fix for WRF ARW members, implementation of a standardized calculation of the PBL height, and additional simulated reflectivity and echo tops products (each member only – no means/spread).


An additional SREF implementation is expected late in FY2010 to add downscaled and bias-corrected (based on the RTMA – similar to NAEFS) sensible weather element products.



The RUC forecast projection is expected to be extended from 12 h to 18 h in Q1 of FY10.



FY10 plans for the RTMA include:

-redefined grid for Hawwaii

-adding GUAM

-establishing a parallel 2.5 km CONUS version.



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 NMM-B and embedding 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 possibly nests for Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Progress has been made in developing the assimilation component. The physics configuration has not yet been determined.


High Resolution Window Runs

FY10 plans include upgrading the WRF code version and adding a nest to cover Guam.



EMC is investigating running HWRF runs for the CPHC.


2d. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch

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.



3a. MDL

Nothing to report


3b. NCEP Centers and NWS Regions

Nothing to report.


4. The next Synergy Meeting will be held at 2:30 pm EDT on Monday, September 28, 2009 in room 209, with remote teleconferencing capability.