Mar 05, 2021
Data sharing will enable new innovations in numerical weather prediction science
The Global Systems Laboratory (GSL) is co-leading the release of the Unified Forecast System (UFS) Short-Range Weather (SRW) application v1.0. The UFS is a community-based, coupled, comprehensive Earth modeling system with shared science components and software infrastructure. The short-range weather application predicts atmospheric behavior on a timescale from less than an hour to several days. This timeframe is important to help forecasters issue life-saving weather and water forecasts in the U.S. during extreme events like blizzards, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
The UFS-SRW is running on Amazon Web Services where the modeling community can take the code and make their own versions to test ideas that could advance the model. This release is part of the ongoing effort to transition to an open community development paradigm and accelerate the advancement of environmental prediction models. The application is now available through GitHub to the public.
The GSL, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), and Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA) team worked on many parts of the UFS SRWv1.0 technical release including a limited area modeling capability, pre-and post-processing utilities, the ability to use multiple sources of input data for initial and lateral boundary conditions, an end-to-end workflow, and comprehensive documentation, along with user support.
The UFS SRW application also serves as the foundation for NOAA’s future convection-allowing ensemble forecast system, known as the Rapid Refresh Forecast System, which will build on the existing High-Resolution Rapid Refresh model known as the HRRR. Through participation in the UFS, expert members of the broader weather community are contributing to the enhancement and development of the RRFS.
The UFS numerical weather prediction applications span local to global domains and predictive time scales from sub-hourly analyses to seasonal predictions. It is designed to support the Weather Enterprise and to be the source system for NOAA‘s operational numerical weather prediction applications.
NOAA Research partners in this release include the collaborative Developmental Testbed Center, and NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center, National Severe Storms Laboratory, Great Lakes Environmental Laboratory, and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. GSL, CIRA, and CIRES participants include Jeff Beck, Dom Heinzeller, Gerard Ketefian, Linlin Pan, Man Zhang, Edward Hartnett, Sam Trahan, Chunhua Zhou, Curtis Alexander, and Ligia Bernardet.