NCEP Modeling Synergy Meeting Highlights: September 29, 2008


This meeting was led by Mike Brennan and attended by John Ward, Geoff DiMego, Dan Starosta, Chris Magee, Bill Bua, Joe Sienkiewicz, Keith Brill, Jim Hoke, Zoltan Toth, Vera Gerald, and Mary Hart. Stephen Jascourt of UCAR/COMET, Steve Weiss and David Bright of SPC, Jeff Waldstreicher of Eastern Region, and Carven Scott from Alaska Region attended by remote teleconference.


1. NCO


Chris Magee of NCO reported on several ongoing/upcoming implementations:


·        The 30-day parallel evaluation period for the RUC upgrade was restarted on Friday, Sep. 26, due to a script error that prevented the assimilation of TAMDAR and Level-II WSR-88D data into the model

·        NCO and EMC are working to get the SREF upgrade into a real time parallel

·        Code was delivered for a NAM upgrade with a parallel expected to begin soon

·        Code was delivered for a GFS/GSI upgrade last Friday

·        An upgrade to HYSPLIT is being worked on

·        The RTMA for Hawaii and Puerto Rico will be moved into production on 7 October

·        Upgrades to the RTOFS and Great Lakes Wave Model are scheduled to be implemented in the 1st Quarter of FY09

·        A RFC was received from MDL for the LAMP model – A TIN was advertised with an implementation scheduled for 12 November

·        NCO is awaiting RFCs for NAM and GFS MOS

·        The NGM MOS is tentatively scheduled to be turned off on 3 March 2009

·        If NAM MOS is working properly, the 32-km Eta model runs that support the Eta MOS will be turned off in December 2008


Please note that the usual December “holiday” change moratorium will last through April 2009 due to the implementation of the new Power 6 supercomputer.


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




2a. Global Climate and Weather Modeling Branch


John Ward reported on several notes from the GCWMB:

  • A RFC for a GSI upgrade to include OSSE data and several other minor changes will be submitted in December
  • Testing is underway for a GFS upgrade tentatively scheduled for implementation in April or May 2009. This package contains changes to the model physics that were included in the previous GFS upgrade that was not implemented as well as coupling with an ocean model (GFDL Modular Ocean Model version 4, or MOM4). Work is ongoing to improve forecasts of precipitation with this upgrade.
  • An upgrade to the HWRF is planned for April or May 2009 that will include coupling to HYCOM, and inclusion of the effects of wave drag and sea spray


John emphasized that the timing of the GFS and HWRF upgrades is dependent on the implementation of the new Power 6 supercomputer.


2b. Mesoscale Modeling Branch


Geoff DiMego reported that RFCs are forthcoming to unify the RTMA version running for CONUS/Alaska with that running for Hawaii and Puerto Rico. This would result in an upgrade in the RTMA version running for the CONUS and Alaska. The new code runs 2.5 times faster, which should result in an improvement in product timeliness. Also, with this RTMA upgrade, NAM downscaled NWP grids (DNGs) will be distributed for the CONUS in October and in O-CONUS areas in November.


Geoff also noted that with the implementation of the Power 6, there is a plan to double the resolution of the RTMA to 2.5 km for the CONUS, 2.9 km for Alaska, and 1.25 km for Puerto Rico.


The current RUC parallel is assimilating 3-D reflectivity mosaic radar data through a digital filter with this upgrade.


The upcoming NOAA profiler data outage is expected to have a “significant” impact on the RUC performance according to GSD. The RUC is the only model that assimilates both the wind and RASS temperature data, while the GFS and NAM assimilate only the wind data. The impact on the GFS and NAM is not expected to be significant. John Ward suggested that NCO test running the RUC without the NOAA profiler data to see if any problems might reveal themselves before the data become unavailable.


Testing on the next NAM upgrade is going well and showing significant improvement in scores. Details on these changes can be found in previous Synergy Meeting notes. This will likely be the last NAM upgrade made in the WRF model framework, as future NAM upgrades will be done in the NCEP Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) framework.


2c. Global Ensemble Prediction System


Zoltan Toth reported that RFCs have been submitted for an upgrade to the Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) that was detailed during the last couple of Synergy Meetings. One change is that this upgrade no longer includes the once daily extension of the GEFS run out to 35 days.  


The next GEFS upgrade will include realtime hindcasts for bias correction and new post processing for day 5 and beyond. The GEFS will also be coupled to the MOM4 ocean model if this implementation is successful in the GFS.


2d. Short Range Ensemble Forecast System


Geoff reported that implementing hourly output for the current SREF upgrade at the request of SPC and AWC has been a challenge, but had to be done in this upgrade if it was going to be available by spring 2009. This change doubled the product generation time for the SREF, but work is ongoing to reduce that impact.


2e. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch


Vera Gerald reported that the evaluation of the Great Lakes Wave Model implementation using NDFD winds has gone well. This model will replace the current Great Lakes Wave Model that uses NAM winds as an input, but will rely on the NAM winds as a fallback if the NDFD winds are not available.


Vera reported that the planned RTOFS upgrade includes changes that will improve the location of the Gulf Stream as well as include sea-surface height from NVSAT altimeter data.






Joe Sienkiewicz asked if the parallel RTOFS data are available in GEMPAK format. Vera replied that she did not think so. Joe will investigate further.




Steve Weiss asked for clarification on the ingest of Level II radar data into the ongoing RUC parallel. Chris Magee confirmed that these data are indeed being ingested for the parallel.


4. The next Synergy Meeting will be held Monday, October 27, 2008, at 12:00 pm EDT in Room 209 at EMC, with remote conference capability.