NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights: September 26, 2011


This meeting was led by David Novak (HPC), and attended by Chris Caruso Magee (NCO), John Ward (EMC), Eric Rogers (EMC), Vera Gerald (EMC), Jamese Sims (EMC), Mary Hart (EMC), Suranjana Saha (EMC), Jun Du (EMC), Frank Aikman (NOS), Steve Silberberg (AWC), Steve Weiss (SPC), Andy Dean (SPC), Keith Brill (HPC), Andy Edman (WR), Dave Radell (ER), Brian Miretzky (ER), Bernard Meisner (SR), Kathy Gilbert (MDL)


1. NCO (Chris Caruso Magee)



A 2 week parallel for the latest set of changes is ongoing. The changes fix a failure of the fire weather nest run and a model output problem causing too weak vertical velocity to be displayed. SPC and AWC are encouraged to check the output. Implementation is scheduled for 12 UTC 18 October.


NCEP-FNMOC Wave Ensemble

30-day parallel ongoing. Expected implementation is November 1st. If the FNMOC data is not available, then only NCEP data will be distributed on that cycle.

Rapid Refresh

Once NAM implementation occurs, the Rapid Refresh implementation will be worked on. 



For the latest schedule updates see:



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


Data Assimilation

The last tests are being done for the new hybrid Ensemble Kalman Filter/GSI assimilation (DA) system. A parallel forecast will begin in one or two weeks from this meeting, and code should be delivered to NCO by late December 2011, for an early April 2012 implementation. Preliminary in-house review of retrospective forecasts have shown improvement. New post-processed products will be available in the next implementation, including:

         Wind energy parameters

         Fire weather parameters

         Converted stability parameters using virtual temperature rather than the actual air temperature


NAEFS inclusion of FNMOC

Yujien Zhu noted that there are plans to include the FNMOC ensemble in NAEFS. He would be interested in hearing from the Regions and Centers regarding the extent of evaluation necessary.


All other future work will be on next machine (TBD)


2b. Global Ensemble Prediction System (GEFS)


Major upgrade planned for February 2012.

Yuejian Zhu presented plans. The GEFS upgrade will include:

-using current operational GFS

-increase in horizontal resolution from 70 km to 55 km (T254) for 0-192 h, and 70 km (T190) for 192-394 hours

-increase in vertical resolution from 28 to 42 layers for 0-384 hours


Improvements in the mean and probabilistic verification were shown. A warm bias in the operational GFS is also evident in the GEFS and could be improve via bias correction.


Given that the GEFS will impact the NAEFS, a analysis of the impact on NAEFS may be necessary.


While the individual ensemble member data will be 20 minutes later than at present, the probability products may be as much as 5 minute earlier.


2c. Mesoscale Modeling Branch (MMB) (Geoff DiMego)



 Final changes being tested in NCO real-time parallel. Implementation is scheduled for the 12 UTC cycle on October 18, 2011.


More information and results can be found here ( under "Implementation Briefing" in last column of the NAM 3.0 row; and under the EMC home page ( under "NAM Upgrade" on the right, click "Description of Changes".


Rapid Refresh (RR) Replacement of RUC


Real-time parallel will either run currently with, or follow the GEFS parallel. It will use the Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation data assimilation system used in the other NCEP models, run with the WRF-ARW dynamical core, and will have its domain expanded to include Alaska and Hawaii.


RTMA Upgrade


An implementation is ready and awaiting scheduling. Below repeats the details in previous synergy meeting notes:

                     Expanded domain to cover the Canadian portion of the NWRFC area

                     ~3 km resolution for mainland Alaska and 1.5 km for Juneau area

                     GSI/2D Var improvements for CONUS domain (to update to the same method as for Guam & Hawaii)

                     Improved winds over lakes and oceans.




The real-time parallel for the next implementation of the SREF is nearing completion. Progress was made in optimizing configuration and allows the following resolutions:

NMMB members 20 km

WRF-NMM members 22 km

WRF-ARW members 26 km


Other large changes include

         Elimination of Eta and RSM

         Addition of the NMMB

         An initial condition perturbation strategy using a hybrid Breeding and Ensemble Transform method, and analyses from GDAS, NDAS, and Rapid Refresh

         Post-processing enhancements  


Due to computer limitations there are two options for running the real-time parallel:

         Run on operational machine (most reliable) with a 5 hour delay in products

         Run on development machine (not as reliable) with a 90 minute delay in products

 Call participants favored the development machine option.


2d. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch (MMAB) (Vera Gerald)


Wave models


Wave ensemble combining the GEFS-forced and Navy global ensemble-forced forecast surface winds is proceeding and will be implemented within the month. 


Spectral output resolution increase for the multiscale wave model is on is still on schedule for FY12Q1. A parallel is expected to begin soon. The related TIN can be found at:


In Q2FY12, implementations will be performed that will make the wave model physics among all versions run at NCEP consistent with each other.


By September 2012, a major physics rebuild of the multiscale wave model will be done which should:

                     Address Pacific Ocean wave bias

                     Help with the Great Lakes wave model

                     Provide a better background field for the initial condition of the hurricane wave model.




The Northern Gulf of Mexico Operational Forecast System (NGOFS) and the Columbia River & Estuary Operational Forecast System (CREOFS) are both scheduled for operational implementation In the second quarter of FY2012 (March).


Also working on extratropical storm surge and tide model.




4a. MDL (Kathy Gilbert)


GFS MOS: Bias correction of 10-m wind high bias in GFS MOS continues to be tested for point MOS. Bias correction has limitations when the pattern changes. May be able to provide WFOs web pages to view output.


Gridded LAMP: Improvements expected to be implemented in September, 2011 for temperature, dewpoint, clouds, and visibility running in parallel still on track to be available to NDGD at the end of September 2011. However, due to a necessary TOC hardware upgrade, Gridded LAMP will not be available on the SBN until further notice.



No products destined to be routed to the NCF for the SBN are being added to the TOC's processing system until a necessary hardware upgrade is completed. This may be a matter of months. This moratorium may affect several datasets.


4b. NCEP Centers and NWS Regions


SR Asked about GFS MOS 10 m wind bias. Bias correction of 10-m wind high bias in GFS MOS continues to be tested at points. Bias correction has limitations when the pattern changes. May be able to provide WFOs web pages to view output.


5. NOTE: The annual NCEP model review dates have been set for 6-8 December 2011. Formal review will be on 6-7 December, with the morning of 8 December set aside for more informal discussions.


6. The next Synergy Meeting will be held at 2:30 pm EDT on Monday, October 31, 2011 in room 209, with remote teleconferencing capability.