NCEP Synergy Meeting Highlights: August 29, 2011


This meeting was led by Bill Bua (UCAR-COMET), and attended by Luke Lin (NCO), Joey Carr (NCO), Bill Lapenta (EMC), John Ward (EMC), Geoff DiMego (EMC), Hendrik Tolman (EMC), Mary Hart (EMC), Steve Silberberg (AWC), Israel Zirak (SPC), Keith Brill (HPC), Andy Edman (WR), Chris Smallcomb (WR), Dave Radell (ER), Jeff Waldstreicher (ER), Brian Miretzky (ER), Pete Browning (CR), Bernard Meisner (SR), Melissa Kreller (SR), Kathy Gilbert (MDL)


1. NCO (Luke Lin)


Climatologically Calibrated Precipitation Analysis (CCPA)

New 3-hourly output will be available August 23.



The NAM-B is currently being evaluated by operational centers. NCO wants evaluations returned during Labor Day week (6-9 September 2011) for a 12 September implementation briefing for Dr. Uccellini. Implementation, barring the occurrence of a critical weather day, will be 12 UTC 20 September 2011.


HYCOM Global Ocean Model


NCO, MMB, and MMAB have solved the problem of fitting both HYCOM and the NAM-B into their respective time slots. NCO is waiting on netcdf to be enabled on NOMADS, as this is how the global RTOFS will be disseminated. Once that is done (expected by the end of this month), NCO will then run a 2 week evaluation on the global RTOFS prior to production implementation in October. Dr. Uccellini and EMC would like NHC, OPC, the Navy, and someone from SURA to evaluate the global RTOFS.

For the latest schedule updates see:



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


GFS-MOS 10-m Wind:


Based on test and parallel run data, MDL is calculating new coefficients for its equations relating GFS model data to 10-m winds. Until that is available, MDL is trying to bias-correct the current GFSMOS 10-m wind forecasts, which should be available to users in about a month from this meeting.


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


Hurricane Irene


The Hurricane WRF (HWRF) and GFS were essentially neck-and-neck for best performance for track for the first 72 hours, with the GFS better for days 4 and 5. Compared to other global NWP models, the GFS was better for intensity. The GFS track forecast was better for Irene than the official forecast after 24 hours on average, while the GFS intensity forecast was better from day 3 on.


2b. Global Ensemble Prediction System (GEFS)


The GEFS increase in resolution is planned now for the 2nd quarter of FY2012. 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)




The NMM-B parallel is currently being run in parallel and is still scheduled for 20 September 2011 implementation (see above for briefing plans and requirements).


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. The last testing involves using the HWRF physics in the WRF-NMM. Because of computer resource limitations, a choice has had to be made to balance higher resolution with physics diversity. As a result, resolution increases will be to 24-26 or 25-28 km rather than the ~22 km resolution originally proposed. All other changes, including

                     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  


2d. Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch (MMAB) (Hendrik Tolman)



Global Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM)


Implementation is still on schedule for the end of September. There may be a minor adjustment to HYCOM early in FY12 based on what has been learned regarding tracer advection in modeling the dispersion of radiation from the Japan nuclear accident.


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 hurricane wave model forecasts for Hurricane Irene were reviewed against buoy and wave altimeter data and performed well.


SST and ice analysis products are also in the pipeline, but are yet to be scheduled for implementation.


The MMB has been collaborating with both the Great Lake Environmental Research Lab and the MMAB to get RTMA to better-assimilate 10-m winds in the Great Lakes region.



A workshop on inundation guidance for the Pacific Islands was held in Hawaii in early August. A white paper will come out of that workshop on ways to improve storm surge models, make them available to the emergency management community, and to improve communication of the information contained in those models with the public in general. It was observed that storm surge forecasts are highly sensitive to the track and intensity of the storm generating the surge, and that communication with the media regarding storm surge and forecasts was vital to public safety.



4a. MDL (Kathy Gilbert)


GFS MOS: Bias correction of 10-m wind problem in GFS MOS is discussed in the GCWMB section above.


NAM MOS: MOS from NAM-WRF (operational) versus NAM-B (parallel) is available on line. Coefficients for the new NAM-B MOS have been computed, thanks to a long time series of retrospective runs provided by the MMB. An implementation date for the new NAM MOS will need to be scheduled.


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 the TOC and NDGD at the end of September 2011.



Will run in parallel for 60 days. To be scheduled.


4b. NCEP Centers and NWS Regions


OPC Looking at extratropical surge and tides model.

Also aware NAVY NCOM (1 km) model being relocated to southern New England Coast

Eastern Region Interested in Downscaled Numerical Guidance webpage for evaluation.

Pacific Region Hosting Pacific Islands Workshop this month.


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, September 26, 2011 in room 209, with remote teleconferencing capability.