Unified Forecast System (UFS) Users’ Workshop


Jul 27, 2020 - Jul 29, 2020 | NCAR's Center Green Campus in Boulder, Colorado

The first Unified Forecast System (UFS) Users’ Workshop will take place on July 27-29, 2020 at NCAR's Center Green Campus in Boulder, Colorado, with the aim to establish an annual forum to exchange ideas, advance education on applying the UFS, and embrace the full potential of the community to support and help improve the UFS modeling and prediction system. It will feature lively engagement and discussions with diverse groups of participants from across the Weather Enterprise including public and private sectors, academia, and those involved in operations, all of whom have a common interest in helping deliver the best forecasts to the public. The workshop is expected to improve communications, transparency, and mutual trust between operational centers and the broader community.


ufs logo

A community-based, coupled Earth modeling system, the UFS, is under active development to support the Weather Enterprise (https://www.weather.gov/about/weather-enterprise) and to be the source system for NOAA's operational numerical weather prediction forecasts. The UFS numerical applications span local to global domains and predictive timescales from sub-hourly analyses to seasonal predictions. The first application to be released will be the UFS Medium-Range Weather Application on GitHub, which targets atmospheric behavior out to about two weeks. The release will include the FV3 dynamical core, the Common Community Physics Package (CCPP) with two supported physics suites [the current operational Global Forecast System (GFS) physics and the developmental one for the GFS next implementation], pre-processing utilities, the Unified Post Processor (UPP), and a workflow to build and run the global forecast system. To ensure architectural flexibility and portability, the UFS uses modernized software and infrastructure, providing an opportunity for all parties to share and contribute information in a consistent and up-to-date manner.



For the broadest community exposure, the UFS Users’ Workshop will: 

  • Inform the attendees of the most recent updates to the UFS including programmatic and technical status, and perspectives

  • Inform the community on the capabilities of the UFS and how the community can contribute to the development and improvement of the UFS

  • Showcase experiences related to various aspects of the modeling system (atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, dynamics, physics, data assimilation, verification, etc.) and range of applications (short-term up to seasonal, global, regional, hurricane, air quality, etc.)

  • Offer a platform for the next generation of scientists to become involved with the UFS, providing continued enhancement of the operational forecast system. The workshop will provide travel support for selected student and postdoc participants.

Call for Abstracts

In this workshop, papers and projects spanning the full range of readiness levels for the following topics will be highly encouraged (Link to Abstract Submission Form):

  • Exercises in using all the UFS applications from Short-Range Weather/Convection Allowing, Medium-Range Weather, Hurricane, to Subseasonal-to-Seasonal applications

  • Development and applications of data assimilation, ensemble techniques, modeling, and post processing

  • Development of model physics and tools for air quality prediction 

  • Application of physics-based community tools or frameworks, including but not limited to the Common Community Physics Package (CCPP), the Hierarchical Testing Framework (HTF), and Single-Column Models (SCMs)

  • Process-oriented model verification and evaluation approaches

  • Research efforts addressing current forecast priorities such as biases in surface temperature (esp, CONUS), sea surface temperature, thermodynamic profiles in planetary boundary layer (PBL), PBL mixing, initiation of convection, interaction of land and atmosphere, too fast propagation of severe storms, tropical biases including tropical cyclone track forecast and the MJO, etc. See more in "UFS Forecast Improvement, Science Priorities, and Systems Evolution" (coming soon).

  • Research efforts related to forecasting of high-impact weather events such as floods, drought, and tropical cyclones

  • Computational challenges such as leveraging High Performance Computing (HPC) resources and cloud computing

Important Dates

  • Abstract submission deadline: 15 May
  • Abstract submission notification: 19 June
  • Agenda available: 26 June
  • Travel support application ends: 8 May
  • Travel support notification: 29 May
  • Early registration ends: 26 June
  • Regular registration begins: 27 June
  • Registration closes: 12 July
If you cancel your registration prior to 26 June, we will refund your registration minus a $25 fee to cover administrative costs. After 26 June, no refund will be given for cancellations.
* Please note: any abstract changes made after 15 May will be reflected online, but not in the printed agenda.

UFS Users’ Workshop Organizing Committee:

Weiwei Li (DTC and NCAR): weiweili@ucar.edu

Jeff Beck (DTC and CSU/CIRA at NOAA/ESRL/GSD): jeff.beck@noaa.gov

Lisa Bengtsson (NOAA/ESRL/PSD): lisa.bengtsson@noaa.gov

Cecelia DeLuca (CIRES and NOAA/NWS/STI Science and Technology Corporation): 


Jim Kinter (George Mason University): ikinter@gmu.edu 

Bin Liu (IMSG at NOAA/NCEP/EMC): bin.liu@noaa.gov