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GSD Team Helps Support the First UFS Release

March 24, 2020


A GSD team had a significant role in the first public release of the user-friendly Unified Forecast System (UFS) Medium-Range Weather Application on March 11. This accomplishment took outstanding dedication and cross-agency collaboration. We congratulate the team that has been on the front lines of this work:

GSD: Ligia Bernardet, Curtis Alexander, Georg Grell, Mark Govett, Jennifer Mahoney. GSD/CIRES: Evan Kalina, Dom Heinzeller, Jeff Beck, Hannah Barnes, Cecelia DeLuca, Ming Hu, Man Zhang, Chris Harrop, Ed Hartnett, Xia Sun, Linlin Pan, and Dan Rosen.

The outstanding work was acknowledged by Neil Jacobs: “The entire UFS team deserves an immense amount of credit. Making global NWP user friendly is beyond challenging. A huge thanks to Dom Heinzeller for helping me debug my original build!”

The UFS will enable NOAA to simplify its production suite of forecasting models, with a shift from many independent systems, each of which has to be improved and maintained separately, to a single seamless modeling system with fewer, more comprehensive applications. Each UFS application will provide guidance for a particular forecast, span local to global domains and predictive time scales from sub-hourly analyses to seasonal predictions. Sharing this code will enable academic and industry researchers to help NOAA accelerate the transition of research innovations into operations. The UFS code is being developed by a broad community and is openly available to the public, with documentation and support for users.

This UFS Medium-Range Weather Application version 1.0 targets predictions of global atmospheric behavior out to two weeks. The software is distributed and maintained through GitHub, and the release of additional applications are planned in the coming year. Collaborating researchers can use the application in real-time, and promising research code will be considered for inclusion in future versions of the operational model. Future releases of model code will enable the research community to continue to advance them for operational use. NOAA and the modeling community also worked together to ensure the code is ready for use by students at the graduate level.

The first Unified Forecast System Users Workshop is planned for July 27-29 in Boulder, CO (working on a remote attendance option if needed). The workshop will be a science-focused annual forum that provides an opportunity for people from across the Weather Enterprise to share research and contribute to future development of the UFS. Attendees are encouraged to showcase experiences related to a broad range of topics (model development, model dynamics/physics, data assimilation/ensemble, post-processing, verification/evaluation, coupling, regional modeling, weather extremes, etc.). Organizers hope the workshop will improve communications, transparency, and mutual trust between operational centers and the broader community. Registration and call for abstracts ends May 15.

For more information contact: Susan Cobb 303-497-5093