Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) Containers

storm clouds over ocean


Welcome to the users page for the containerized versions of several numerical weather prediction (NWP) software components and datasets. These software containers have been established for community use to quickly spin up an NWP forecast system [using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model and Gridpoint Statistical Interpoloation (GSI) data assimilation] that can then be post-processed [using the Unified Post Processor (UPP)] and verified [using the Model Evaluation Tools (MET)].

You can learn more by working through our Online Tutorial found under the User Support tab on the right!


Software systems require substantial set-up to get all the necessary code, including external libraries, compiled on a specific platform. Recently, the concept of containers has been gaining popularity because they allow for software systems to be bundled (including operating system, libraries, code, and executables) and provided directly to users, eliminating possible frustrations with up-front system setup.

Using containers allows for efficient, lightweight, secure, and self-contained systems. Everything required to make a piece of software run is packaged into isolated containers, ready for development, shipment, and deployment. Using containers guarantees that software will always run the same, regardless of where it is deployed.

Ultimately, containers substantially reduce the spin-up time of setting up and compiling software systems and promote greater efficiency in getting to the end goal of producing model output and statistical analyses

Advantages to using containers for NWP:

  • Reduces spin-up time to build necessary code components
  • Highly portable
  • Use in cloud computing
  • Easily sharable with other collaborators
  • Easy to replicate procedures and results

Who can benefit from using NWP containers?

  • Graduate and undergraduate students
  • University faculty
  • Researchers
  • Tutorial participants

Thanks for the support!

Funding to establish the full end-to-end NWP container system was provided by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) base funds. NCAR is sponsored by the NSF. Efforts established as part of the Big Weather Web (BWW) project were also leveraged during this work.