NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights: October 25, 2010


This meeting was led by David Novak (HPC) and attended by Geoff DiMego (EMC); John Ward (EMC); Eric Rogers (EMC); Chad Carry (EMC); Vera Gerald; Mary Hart (EMC); Becky Cosgrove (NCO); Kathy Gilbert (MDL); Todd Kimberlain (NHC); Steve Silberberg (AWC); Jason Levit (AWC); Steve Weiss (SPC); Andy Dean (SPC); Joe Sienkiewicz (OPC); Bill Ward (PR); Bernard Meisner (SR); Jeff Waldstreicher (ER), and Brian Miretzky (ER); Ken Smith (AFWA)


1. NCO (Becky Cosgrove)


Multi-Grid Hurricane Wave Model.

Implementation is scheduled for November 2. The delivery time of the existing products will be delayed by approximately 30 minutes due to the significant increase in model resolution. (


The NCO parallel for downscaling NAEFS sensible weather elements for Alaska has begun, for a planned implementation of November 30th. (


Hawaii Gridded MOS

Schedule implementation of the 2.5 km Gridded MOSis set for November 9th. (


BUFR Update

Software upgrades will result in format changes to NCEP BUFR products. In particular:

1. The identification section of each BUFR message will indicate the use of version 13 of the WMO Master Table. NCEP BUFR products currently use version 12.


2. An additional empty (zero subset) BUFR message will now be included within all files that contain BUFR table messages.  These empty messages are recognizable as having a data category value of 11 within the identification  section of the message.


The new BUFR format files can be ingested AWIPS.
More details available in the TIN. (


Air Quality

Expansion of the operational ozone prediction products to add maximum 1 hour average and maximum 8 hour average ozone for the first day of prediction for CONUS is expected December 21st. More details available in the TIN (




FNMOC's Global Ensemble is scheduled to be added to the NAEFS system January 11, 2011. This will increase the number of members to 63. Additional bias-corrected elements (all upper level) will be added to NAEFS. An additional 28 elements will be added from the CMC ensemble. More details available in the TIN (


For the latest schedule updates see:





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


Climate Forecast System v2.0

A major upgrade to the Climate Forecast System (CFS v2.0) is expected January 18th, 2011. The upgrade includes resolution changes, assimilation changes, atmospheric and ocean model changes, addition of sea-ice and land modeling, coupling, and other significant changes.



The major upgrade to the GFS in August 2010 introduced three biases:

-2 m temp warm bias

-cold bias in the stratosphere

-low wind bias

Corrective changes are expected to be implemented in late February 2011.


A resolution increase, use of a semi-lagrangian model formulation, and possible physics improvements are expected in FY12.



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



Resolution improvements and physics changes are expected in the summer 2011 timeframe. Resolution increases from T190L28 to T254L42. The physics will be updated to be consistent with the current operational GFS.


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


High Resolution Window Runs

A major upgrade to the High Resolution Window Runs is planned for March 2011.Plans include upgrading the WRF code version (from v2.2 to v3.2) and adding a twice-per-day (00z & 12z) 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 for the passive variables (e.g. water vapor, hydrometeor fields, turbulent kinetic energy) which has the effect of reducing QPF bias. Pacific region has authorized the new run over Guam to replace the current RSM run over Hawaii.It will also provide a much improved first guess for the Guam RTMA. Additionally, the Puerto Rico domain will be expanded to cover Hispaniola to provide QPF guidance for the NOAA/IA supported Hydrologic Research Center (San Diego, CA)ís flash flood support program for Haiti.



The upcoming Q3FY2011 major implementation will transition the WRF-based NMM to a NEMS-based NMM-B.NEMS = NOAA Environmental Modeling System which is, in turn, based on the basic principles of ESMF (Earth System Modeling Framework).NMMB = Nonhydrostatic Multiscale Model on a B-Grid where multiscale comes from the fact the NMMB can be run globally or regionally and, with telescoping nests, it can run with synoptic scale, mesoscale to stormscale grid-spacing. This transition allows the long-awaited establishment of multiple internal nests: 4 km over CONUS, 6 km over Alaska, 3 km over Hawaii and 3 km over Puerto Rico/Hispaniola; while the North American parent domain remains at 12 km. An internal EMC parallel has been running for several months with the four nests. Reinstatement of the Fire Weather / IMET Support run will be accomplished by running a single FWIS nest either within the CONUS domain at 1.33 km or within the Alaska domain at 1.2 km. The parent 12 km will run out to 84 hours and will populate all existing NAM guidance products.The 4 child nests will run to 60 hours and distribution is TBD, but one idea is for their output to replace the existing NAM DNG.Finally, the FWIS runs will extend to 36 hrs with data expected to be distributed via Fx-Net.Full complements of output will be available on NOMADS and anonymous ftp servers in Silver Spring, MD.




A major upgrade to SREF is planned now for FY11Q4 which eliminates the members based on the legacy Eta and RSM models and adds members based on the NEMS-NMMB. Membership will remain at 21 by having 7 members generated each by NMMB, WRF-ARW and WRF-NMM. This upgrade would also increase resolution from 32-25km 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 initial perturbation possibilities. The Eta and RSM models will be discontinued, pending all dependencies on Eta and RSM models can be removed.



Initial data from the hybrid ensemble approach of Jun (2004) ( applied to the high-res window runs is available to NCEP Service Centers. This involves adding the forecast perturbations from the 21 SREF members to the Hi-res window NMM and ARW forecasts.


Rapid Refresh

MMB is working with GSD on implementation details of the Rapid Refresh. The Rapid Refresh will replace the RUC and remain an hourly updated system with 13 km resolution run to 18 hours. The prediction model will change from RUC to WRF-ARW, the analysis will change from RUC/3DVAR to NCEPís GSI (same as is used in GFS/GDAS and NAM/NDAS) and the domain will increase to cover most of North America.Implementation is tentatively planned for Q4 of FY11.


Post Processing

SPC and EMC collaborating to provide CAPE and CIN calculations using virtual temperature. These will be new elements, in addition to the historical CAPE and CIN calculations using the sensible temperature.


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

See previous item on multi-grid hurricane wave model.



3a. MDL (Kathy Gilbert)

Exploring using the new Vaisala GLD-360 lightning data to generate thunderstorm MOS guidance for the OCONUS.


Working with HPC and NCO to test prototype Day 8-10 MOS guidance.


3b. NCEP Centers and NWS Regions


EMC Ė The annual NCEP Model Suite Review will be held Dec 7-9 at the WWB. As in the past, activities for the regions are expected the morning of the 9th.


4. Given the upcoming NCEP Model Suite Review December 7-9, the next scheduled Synergy Meeting will be deferred until Monday, January 31, 2011.