News

Software Release: Release of the Community Standalone GFDL Vortex Tracker Code Version 3.9a

2018-04-13 | The DTC’s HWRF team is pleased to announce the public release of the Community standalone GFDL Vortex Tracker code version 3.9a. The standalone tracker can be used to determine properties (location, intensity, structure etc) of forecast tropical cyclones of… Read More

Software Release: Release of the Common Community Physics Package (CCPP)

2018-04-09 | The DTC’s Global Model Test Bed (GMTB) is pleased to announce the public release of the Common Community Physics Package (CCPP), a library of physical parameterizations for atmospheric numerical models. It is distributed with a framework that enables its use with any host application for which an interface is written. In this release, the CCPP has been bundled with the GMTB Single Column Model (SCM) and contains all the physical parameterizations used in the current operational NOAA Global Forecast System (GFS). For more… Read More

Lead Story: “Building a Weather-Ready Nation by Transitioning Academic Research to NOAA Operations” Workshop

Spring 2018 | The workshop was informative, stimulating and productive, as it allowed the academic community to have a direct dialogue with NOAA on research to operations transition issues.

Director's Corner: Director’s Corner - Georg Grell

Spring 2018 | As chief of the Model Development Branch (MDB) at NOAA’s Global System Division (GSD), I am honored to work with many of the scientists from the DTC. The DTC has been a vital partner for the development, testing, and evaluation of the Rapid Refresh (RAP) and High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) models, and I look forward to continuing this valuable collaboration as the community works together to define and develop the next-generation modeling system.  The work performed in my branch at GSD is strongly linked to the five task… Read More

Who's Who: Grant Firl

Spring 2018 | The long and winding path to becoming an atmospheric scientist began at a young age for Grant, like many atmospheric scientists. He split his childhood years between watching occasional storms develop over the Sandia Mountains of Albuquerque, NM and the frequent passing of MCSs (Mesoscale Convective Systems) and derechos over the forested hills of southwest Missouri. Grant credits his interest in science and math to a string of inspirational teachers from elementary school and onward, but his… Read More

Bridges to Operations: DTC MET Verification Tutorial

Spring 2018 | The  DTC Verification team hosted a MET tutorial at NCAR January 31-February 2, 2018 in association with the semi-annual WRF tutorial. This event was the first in-residence MET tutorial since February 2015. There were 31 registered users and several new DTC staff dropped in for pertinent lectures.  The tutorial included a half day of lectures on verification basics plus two and a half days of presentations focused on many of the MET tools supplemented with practical sessions that demonstrated the tool.  The… Read More

Visitors: Variational lightning data assimilation in GSI

Spring 2018 | A contribution by Karina Apodaca and coauthor Milija Zupanski on the work they conducted with the DTC Visitor Program on variational lightening data assimilation. This article covers highlights of their journal article. See, also, the link at the end of this article.

Community Connections: DTC staff host AMS Short Course on Containers

Spring 2018 | A major hurdle for running new software systems is often building and compiling the necessary code on a particular computer platform. In recent years, the concept of using “containers” has been gaining momentum in the numerical weather prediction (NWP) community. This new container technology allows for the complete software system to be bundled (operating system, libraries, code, etc.) and shipped to users in order to reduce the spin-up time, leading to a more efficient setup process. A core mission of the DTC is to… Read More

Did you know?: About Software containers

Spring 2018 | Porting is the ability to move software from one environment to another by making minimal changes to the existing code. Unfortunately, such an arrangement is not easy to achieve when it comes to porting software from one Operating System (OS) platform to another or even among versions of a single OS.  Software containers are a solution to this problem. The software and its working environment are able to be ported from platform to platform, from a laptop to a desktop or HPC environment as a unit, single and complete. The… Read More

Software Release: Release of The MET Version 6.1 Verification Package

2017-12-05 | The MET development team at the DTC is pleased to announce the release of the MET version 6.1 verification package. It is available for download from the MET Users web page. The MET development team significantly enhanced the run-time performance of a number of tools, enhanced the data and file format capabilities, and added new capabilities for point observations, gridded analyses and tropical cyclone and probabilistic verification. Full details about the changes… Read More

Software Release: Release v3.9a of the HWRF system

2017-10-16 | The Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) is pleased to announce the release of version 3.9a of the community HWRF modeling system. The release includes all components of the system: scripts, data preprocessing, vortex initialization, data assimilation, atmospheric and ocean models, coupler, postprocessor, and vortex tracker. Both the Scientific Documentation and the Users Guide have been updated.Read More

Lead Story: The Global Model Test Bed: Bringing the U. S. scientific community into NCEP global forecast model development

Autumn 2017 | "Entraining a vibrant, diverse external community into NCEP global model development will bring broader dividends. ....Surely the U.S. can marshal its intellectual resources to do even better and create the world's best unified modeling system using the GMTB as a collaborative platform." Read More

Software Release: Release of the MET version 6.0 Verification Package

Summer 2017 | The MET development team at the DTC is pleased to announce the release of the MET version 6.0 verification package. It is available for download from the MET Users web page. The MET development team significantly enhanced the run-time performance of a number of tools, enhanced the data and file format capabilities, and added new capabilities for point observations, gridded analyses and tropical cyclone and probabilistic verification. Full details about the changes for this new version can… Read More

Director's Corner: Russ S. Schumacher

Autumn 2017 | Faculty and graduate students at universities typically conduct basic research to better understand the fundamental workings of their area of interest, which in our field is the atmosphere. Transitioning these findings into practical applications, including operational weather forecasting, is then done by national labs and their cooperative institutes.  Yet in many cases, university researchers are working on problems that are directly relevant to operations, and have the potential (with a little help) to be considered for… Read More

Who's Who: Evan Kalina

Autumn 2017 | Evan knew he wanted to be a meteorologist when he was five years old -- every type of thunderstorm that blew through Kendall, FL enamored him. When Joe Cione, a hurricane researcher moved in across the street, his future career was sealed. After graduating in 2010 from Florida State University with a B.S. in meteorology, Evan moved to Boulder for graduate school at the University of Colorado, where he analyzed model simulations and radar data from supercell thunderstorms. Cione serendipitously moved to Boulder about the time… Read More

Bridges to Operations: Evaluation of the new hybrid vertical coordinate in the RAP and HRRR

Autumn 2017 | The terrain-following sigma coordinate has been implemented in many Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) systems, including the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, and has been used with success for many years. However, terrain-following coordinates are known to induce small-scale horizontal and vertical accelerations over areas of steep terrain due to the reflection of topography in the model levels.  These accelerations introduce error into the model equations and can impact model forecasts, especially as errors are… Read More

Visitors: Are mixed physics helpful in a convection-allowing ensemble?

Autumn 2017 | As a 2017 DTC visitor, William Gallus is using the Community Leveraged Unified Ensemble (CLUE) output from the 2016 NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Experiment to study the impact of mixed physics in a convection-allowing ensemble.  Two of the 2016 CLUE ensembles were similar in their use of mixed initial and lateral boundary conditions (at the side edges of the model domain), but one of them also added mixed physics, using four different microphysics schemes and three different planetary boundary layer schemes.… Read More

Community Connections: WRF Users' Workshop - June 2017

Autumn 2017 | The first Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) Users’ Workshop was held in 2000. Since then, eighteen annual workshops have been organized and hosted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado to provide a platform where developers and users can share new developments, test results, and feedback. This exchange ensures the WRF model continues to progress and remain relevant. The workshop program has evolved through the years. In 2006, instructional sessions were introduced, with the first… Read More

Did you know?: A single column model (SCM) can be an easy, quick, and cheap way to test new or updated physics schemes

Autumn 2017 | A SCM replaces advection from a dynamical core with forcing that approximates how the atmospheric column state changes due to large-scale horizontal winds. An atmospheric physics suite then calculates impacts to radiation, convection, microphysics, vertical diffusion and other physical processes as the forcing alters the column state. The SCM approach is conceptually simple, extremely quick to run (less than a minute on a laptop), and makes interpretation of results less ambiguous because it eliminates three-dimensional… Read More

Announcement: 2018 Hurricane WRF Tutorial

Autumn 2017 | The DTC is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the 2018 Hurricane WRF (HWRF) tutorial to be held 23–25 January 2018 at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP) in College Park, MD. Registration, a draft agenda, and information about hotel accommodations and other logistics can be found on our tutorial website: 2018 HWRF tutorial The HWRF tutorial will be a three-day event organized by the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) and by the NOAA Environmental Modeling Center (EMC). The… Read More

Software Release: Release of GSI Version 3.6 and EnKF Version 1.2

Autumn 2017 | The Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) is pleased to announce the release of the following community data assimilation systems: Version 3.6 of the Community Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) data assimilation system Version 1.2 of the Community Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) data assimilation system The released packages for GSI and EnKF and the documentation for each can be accessed through each system website as follows:… Read More

Lead Story: Community Modeling Workshop Outcome

The NOAA Community Modeling Workshop and meetings of the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) Working Groups were held 18-20 April 2017 at the National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, Maryland.

Summer 2017 | “The most common feedback from the workshop participants noted the increase in transparency within the EMC and NOAA at large, the increasing effort to engage the entire community, and the general sense of positive momentum of the community coming together to embrace the opportunity to use NGGPS as a foundation to build a true community modeling resource for the Nation.”

Director's Corner: Bill Kuo

Summer 2017 | The Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) was established in 2003 with a mission to facilitate research to operation transitions in regional Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP). The DTC fulfills this mission by (i) providing community support for regional operational systems, (ii) performing testing and evaluation of NWP innovations for possible operational implementation, and (iii) promoting interaction and collaboration between research and operational NWP communities through special workshops, visitor programs, and the… Read More

Who's Who: Jamie Wolff

Summer 2017 | I grew up in Mound, MN, which is a western suburb of the Twin Cities. While most would consider Minnesota a cold and snowy state, I apparently wanted colder and snowier weather because I decided to head further north to Grand Forks, ND to attend the University of North Dakota (UND). I am an avid UND hockey fan and love heading to the games when they come out to play University of Denver or Colorado College in Colorado. Experiencing bitterly cold temperatures walking to class at UND certainly made me appreciate the amazing… Read More

Bridges to Operations: The Unified Post Processor

Summer 2017 | Post-processing is an essential but often overlooked component of numerical weather prediction and encompasses a broad range of concepts, methods, and tools to make raw model output more useful. The Unified Post Processor (UPP) can compute a variety of diagnostic fields, interpolate to pressure levels or specified (pre-defined or custom) grids, and de-stagger grids. Examples of the products include: T, Z, humidity, wind, cloud water, cloud ice, rain, and snow on isobaric levels SLP, shelter level… Read More

Visitors: Evaluating Convective Structure

Summer 2017 | As a visitor to DTC in 2016, University of North Dakota Ph.D. candidate Mariusz Starzec investigated the performance of regional summertime convective forecasts. In particular, he focused on model skill in predicting the coverage, morphology, and intensity of convection. Further emphasis was placed on how representative the simulated internal convective structure is of observed convection by using the reflectivity field as proxy for convective processes. Convection plays a major role in everyday weather and long term climate.… Read More

Community Connections: NGGPS Atmospheric Physics Workshop

Summer 2017 | On 8-9 November 2016, more than 80 scientists from a broad cross-section of the physics development community gathered for the Next Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS) Atmospheric Physics Workshop at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction. The workshop provided an opportunity for the NGGPS Physics Team to revisit and refine its near- and long-term priorities for advancing the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) global physics suite and identify key areas that need attention.… Read More

Did you know?: Documentation is important!

Summer 2017 | A Google Search: Documentation is the Most Valuable Thing You Do (from cyborginstitute.org/projects/administration/documentation/). Good documentation makes software and tools more valuable and more durable, and although documentation can be a great expense, in the long term it’s almost always worthwhile.

Lead Story: Evaluation of New Cloud Verification Methods

Accurate cloud forecasts are critical to the Air Force national intelligence mission because clouds can mask key targets, obscure sensors, and are a hazard to remotely piloted aircraft.

Winter 2017 | “These metrics can provide very succinct information about many aspects of forecast performance without having to resort to complicated, computationally expensive techniques. ”

Director's Corner: Michael Farrar

Winter 2017 | As the new Director of the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), I have the pleasure of leading nearly two hundred world-class scientists, engineers and other staff in developing, transitioning, improving and maintaining a suite of global and regional environmental models to support the National Weather Service (NWS) mission of the protecting life and property for our country.  To meet the challenges of this mission, EMC has formed strategic partnerships with numerous community organizations over the years to collaboratively… Read More

Who's Who: Man Zhang

Winter 2017 | As a visiting scientist at the University of Maryland in 2005, Man Zhang learned of Colorado’s reputation of being a great place to live. When her husband had an opportunity to come to Colorado as a visiting Ph.D. student, they didn’t think twice about moving. They love Colorado and have been in the Boulder area for almost 10 years. Man was a post-doc at CIRA in the ensemble data assimilation group. She applied the hybrid variational-ensemble data assimilation system (HVEDAS) developed at CIRA to the NOAA operational Hurricane… Read More

Bridges to Operations: The 2016 Hurricane WRF System

Winter 2017 | The community Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) modeling system was upgraded to version 3.8a on November 21, 2016.  This release includes all components of the HWRF system: scripts, data preprocessing, vortex initialization, data assimilation, atmospheric and ocean models, coupler, postprocessor, and vortex tracker.  In addition to default operational features, the release includes capabilities to perform idealized tropical cyclone simulations run with alternate physics, and backwards compatibility for inner… Read More

Visitors: Cloud Overlap Influences on Tropical Cyclone Evolution

Winter 2017 | As visitors to the DTC in 2016, Michael Iacono and John Henderson of Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) used the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting model (HWRF) to investigate an improved way of representing the vertical overlap of partial cloudiness and showed that this process strongly influences the transfer of radiation in the atmosphere and can impact the evolution of simulated tropical cyclones. Clouds are a critical element of Earth’s climate because they strongly affect both the incoming solar (or… Read More

Community Connections: Science Advisory Board Meeting - Sept 14-15

Winter 2017 | The DTC hosted its annual DTC Science Advisory Board (SAB) meeting on September 14-15, 2016.  This annual event provides an opportunity for the DTC to present a review of DTC key accomplishments over the past three years to representatives of the research community and to collect input directed at shaping a strategy for the future.  “The DTC enables and supports a wide variety of research-to-operations and operations-to-research… Read More

Did you know?: Join Weekly Webinar Discussion on EMC’s Forecast Systems

Winter 2017 | You can join weekly webinars to discuss the performance of EMC’s forecast/analysis systems from a synoptic and mesoscale perspective. The weekly webinar is led by EMC’s Model Evaluation Group and participants include model developers, NCEP service centers, NWS regional and field offices, DTC staff, academic community and private sector. Webinars serve as a forum for EMC to… Read More

Lead Story: NOAA Selects GFDL’s Dynamical Core

Autumn 2016 | In August 2014, numerical weather prediction modelers attended a workshop to discuss dynamic core requirements and attri- butes for the NGGPS, and developed a battery of tests to be conducted in three phases over 18 months. Six existing dynamical cores were identified as potential candidates for NGGPS. During Phase 1, a team of evaluators ran benchmarks to look at performance, both meteorological and computational, and the stability of the core. The performance benchmark measured the speed… Read More

Director's Corner: Paula Davidson

Autumn 2016 | NOAA’s testbeds and proving grounds (NOAA TBPG) are an important link between research advances and applications, and especially NOAA operations. Some are Read More

Who's Who: Kathryn Newman

Autumn 2016 | As a Junior Atmospheric Science major, at the University of North Dakota (UND), Kathryn Newman organized 25 weather labs for hundreds of aviation students that were required to take Meteorology (ATSC 110). The multi-tasking and organizational skills she developed come in handy as the DTC Hurricane Task Lead to oversee transitioning Hurricane Task research to EMC. “It’s challenging to keep track of all the moving parts in modeling research and getting them into operations,” she says, “But it is cool to be involved at this level… Read More

Visitors: Object-based Verification Methods

Autumn 2016 | As visitors to the DTC in 2015, Jason Otkin, Chris Rozoff, and Sarah Griffin explored using object-based verification methods to assess the accuracy of cloud forecasts from the experimental High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model. Though the forecast accuracy could be assessed using traditional statistics such as root mean square error or bias, additional information about errors in the spatial distribution of the cloud field could be obtained by using more… Read More

Did you know?: Did you know there are suggested topics for Visitor Projects that receive special consideration?

Autumn 2016 | Advance the forecast skill of the DTC-supported HWRF modeling system through improved physics and/or initialization Advance the analysis capability of the DTC-supported Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation and/or the NOAA Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF) Data Assimilation systems through development, testing, and evaluation of advanced data assimilation techniques and the addition of new data types or measurements Transition innovations in atmospheric physical parameterizations to NOAA’s Next-Generation Global Prediction… Read More

Lead Story: The need for a Common Community Physics Package

Improvement of NWP model parameterizations offers a fruitful path for improving models. But challenges in physics development are numerous, including dependence on grid length and the need to reformulate physics to properly accommodate scales now resolved in high-resolution models.

Summer 2016 | While national modeling centers can benefit from the expertise in the broader community of parameterization developers, the social and technical barriers to a community researcher implementing and testing a new parameterization or set of parameterizations (a physics suite) in an operational model are high. Physical parameterization codes are often implemented so that they are strongly linked to a particular model dynamical core, with dependencies on grid structure, prognostic variables, and even time-… Read More

Director's Corner: Vijay Tallapragada EMC

Summer 2016 |

Who's Who: Hongli Jiang

Summer 2016 |

Who's Who: Christina Holt

Summer 2016 |

Visitors: Harnessing the Power of Evolution for Weather Prediction

Summer 2016 | As a DTC Visitor in 2015, Paul Roebber explored an idea for generating ensemble weather predictions known as evolutionary programming (EP). The method relies on a gradually and increasingly restrictive cost function to produce and to evaluate succeeding generations of a population of algorithms until such time as a best ensemble solution is determined based on cross-validation. The approach was developed by Roebber to produce baseline prediction equations equivalent to linear or nonlinear multiple regression… Read More

Lead Story: U.S. Air Force Weather Modeling and the DTC

Spring 2016 | During the next decade, the Air Force will be working with our national and international modeling partners toward a goal of consolidated capabilities

Director's Corner: Ralph Stoffler

Spring 2016 | Ralph Stoffler, a member of the US government Senior Executive Service, is the USAF Director of Weather, and the USAF Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. In this capacity, he is responsible for the development of weather and space environmental doctrine, policies, plans, programs, and standards in support of Army and Air Force operations. He is responsible for overseeing and advocating for Air Force weather resources and monitors the execution of the weather program. He is the functional manager for 4,300… Read More

Who's Who: Chunhua Zhou

Spring 2016 | Circumstances can make it hard to connect with people, and with snowstorms and parent-teacher conferences, catching up with Chunhua Zhou took a few tries. But meeting her and learning about her work in the DTC made the effort worthwhile. Chunhua and her younger brother grew up in central China. While he still lives there and runs a small business, Chunhua went to the University of Hawaii in 2003, receiving her Ph.D. in Meteorology in 2009. Her thesis studies involved the dynamics of the tropical intraseasonal oscillation and… Read More

Bridges to Operations: HWRF Training at Home and Abroad

Spring 2016 | The DTC hurricane team has provided training opportunities to learn the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) system to both general users and active developers over the past several months. The community HWRF modeling system (version 3.7a released in August 2015) is compatible with the NCEP 2015 operational implementation, which includes high-resolution deterministic tropical cyclone numerical guidance for all global oceanic basins. Due to the demonstrated skill and advanced capabilities of… Read More

Visitors: DTC Visitor Project

Spring 2016 | This past winter, the DTC had the pleasure of hosting visiting scientist Dr. Liantang Deng of the Numerical Weather Prediction Center, China Meteorological Administration (CMA). His visit stemmed from the combined Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and Global/Regional Assimilation and PrEdiction System (GRAPES) modeling workshop in 2014, when Dr. Bill Kuo, Director of the DTC, helped facilitate interactions between the DTC and CMA. During his 2-month stay, he evaluated the… Read More

Community Connections: Sea Ice Modeling Workshop

Spring 2016 | A sea ice modeling workshop was convened on 3-4 February 2016 in Boulder, CO for the purpose of informing NOAA on the inclusion and selection of a community-contributed sea ice model into the future Next-Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS). Another workshop goal was to identify potential research and development opportunities and gaps. The workshop was hosted at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) by the DTC’s Global Model Test Bed, and counted as sponsors the National Weather Service, the NOAA Office of… Read More

Lead Story: Expanding Capability of DTC Verification

Winter 2016 | Robust testing and evaluation of research innovations is a critical component of the Research-to-Operations (R2O) process and is performed for NCEP by the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC). At the foundation of the DTC testing and evaluation (T&E) system is the Model Evaluation Tools (MET), which is also supported to the community through the DTC. The verification team within the DTC has been working closely with DTC teams as well as the research and operational communities (e.g. NOAA HIWPP program and NCEP/EMC… Read More

Director's Corner: Tom Hamill

Winter 2016 |

Who's Who: Michelle Harrold

Winter 2016 |

Bridges to Operations: HWRF Operational Implementation and Public Release

Winter 2016 |

Lead Story: NITE: NWP Information Technology Environment

Summer 2015 | Over the years, the DTC has put in place several mechanisms to facilitate the use of operational models by the general community, mostly by supporting operational codes (for data assimilation, forecasting, postprocessing etc.) and organizing workshops and tutorials. By stimulating the use of operational codes by the research community, composed of universities, NCAR, and government laboratories, several new NWP developments have been transitioned to NCEP operations. However, in spite of the… Read More

Director's Corner: Frederick Toepfer

Summer 2015 |

Who's Who: Jeff Beck

Summer 2015 |

Bridges to Operations: Data Assimilation Study for TC Intensity

Summer 2015 | The hybrid Ensemble Kalman Filter (EnKF)-Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) data assimilation system was implemented at NCEP for its Global Forecasting System (GFS) in May 2012.

Did you know?: Establishing a Functionally Similar Operational Environment for the Hourly-Updating NAM Forecast System

Summer 2015 | As a bridge between the research and operational NWP communities, one of the fundamental purposes of the DTC is to provide the research community access to functionally similar operational environments. Through this effort, promising new NWP techniques from the research community can be transferred more efficiently to an operational environment. One system that is currently under development and in the plans for operational implementation is the North American Mesoscale Rapid Refresh (NAMRR) system. The NAMRR is an hourly… Read More

Lead Story: DTC: The Next Ten Years

Winter 2015 | The transition of research advances into operations (abbreviated as R2O), particularly those operations involving numerical weather prediction, satellite meteorology, and severe weather forecasting, has always been a major challenge for the atmospheric science community. With a preeminent mission to facilitate R2O in mind, NOAA and NCAR established the DTC in 2003. Since then, the DTC has worked toward this goal in three specific ways:  by providing community support for operational NWP systems, by performing… Read More

Director's Corner: Barb Brown

Winter 2015 | The DTC was established a number of years ago to facilitate the transition of new capabilities in weather forecasting from research to operations (R2O), with a focus on the WRF model. Over the years, many things have changed – for example, the DTC now works with multiple sets of code (WRF, GSI, MET, HWRF, and so on) which will soon include global prediction systems – but that fundamental mission remains the same. The DTC accomplishes its goals through strong connections to the operational and research… Read More

Who's Who: Ming Hu

Winter 2015 | Ming is one of several DTC scientists with cross-Pacific ties, with early roots in central China (near Xian) and school and work experience in Jiangsu (where his parents live), the Nanjing Institute of Meteorology, Beijing, and the University of Oklahoma, where he earned his PhD in 2005. Since 2007 he has been working at ESRL/GSD in Boulder. One of the go-to people for data assimilation work at the DTC and at GSD with the RAP/HRRR, he is called upon not only for development work on data assimilation products… Read More

Community Connections: New HWRF Developers Website: R2O for Hurricane Model Development

Winter 2015 | The mission of the DTC is to accelerate the rate of transition of new research and development to operational numerical weather prediction models. To that end, the DTC makes NCEP operational models, such as the Hurricane WRF, available to the general community through yearly releases of stable, well-tested, and well-documented codes, which are supported through a help desk. While the DTC has hundreds of registered HWRF users, only a small subset of them actually contribute innovations, raising questions about the return… Read More

Did you know?: Research and Operational Communities Gathered for Physics Workshop Recently

Winter 2015 | A successful workshop on Parameterization of Moist Processes for Next-Generation Weather Prediction Models was hosted by NOAA and DTC at the NOAA Center for Weather & Climate Prediction (NCWPC) in College Park, MD, Jan 27-29, 2015. A large number of participants from NOAA, the international operational community, and the research community gathered to discuss topics including microphysics, sub-grid scale clouds and turbulence, and deep convection. The first day of the workshop included two keynote presentations and… Read More

Lead Story: Evaluating WRF performance over time

Autumn 2014 | As modifications and additions are made to WRF code and released to the community, users often ask, “Is WRF really improving?”

Director's Corner: Kevin Kelleher

Autumn 2014 | During my first 15 months as the ESRL Global Systems Division Director, I have learned about the DTC and its role in the modeling community. The DTC has made remarkable gains in supporting the WRF model within the community that has contributed to the great success and usage of the model both nationally and internationally. I believe the DTC is unique in how it is funded and operated as a joint effort between NCAR and NOAA, along with partners from the Air Force. It is my observation that there is a significant effort to… Read More

Who's Who: Tara Jensen

Autumn 2014 | An old management adage says that if you need some new task done NOW, ask someone who is already busy. Although she probably cringes to hear it, this applies well to Tara, with an exception: she would first offer to take it on. Her tireless approach to work follows pretty directly from a commitment to accept new challenges in new places. In practice, it has led to twists and turns along the way. After completing her Master’s degree at Colorado State University in aerosol/cloud interactions in marine stratus, her graduate work… Read More

Bridges to Operations: Bridges to Operations

Autumn 2014 | Researchers from the DTC plan to provide numerical model runs from a preliminary version of the North American Rapid Refresh Ensemble system (Pre-NARRE) to the Hydrometeorological Testbed of the Weather Prediction Center (HMT/ WPC) during their current Winter Exercise. The DTC Ensemble Task will run the ensemble system (most likely on the NOAA hjet computing system) and post-process some of the results for HMT/WPC. Members of the ensemble (eight in total) will be produced from both WRF/ RUC and NMMB dynamical cores, and will… Read More

Community Connections: The 2014 GSI Community Tutorial

Autumn 2014 | The DTC hosted the 5th Community Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) Tutorial on July 14-16 of this summer at the NCAR Foothills Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. One of several outreach events sponsored recently by the DTC, this tutorial was held in collaboration with other major GSI development teams from around the United States. With an ultimate goal of providing operational capabilities to the research community, this series of tutorials has become a primary training resource whereby both operational and research… Read More

Announcement: News from the DTC

Autumn 2014 | Announcements, Publications and More VISITOR PROJECT AWARDS Paul Roebber (Univ of Wisconsin - Milwaukee):Demonstration Project: Development of a Large Member Ensemble Forecast System for Heavy Rainfall using Evolutionary Programming. WORKSHOPS, TUTORIALS, EVENTS Physics Workshop The DTC and NOAA will convene a workshop entitled ‘Parameterization of moist process for next-generation numerical weather prediction models’… Read More

Director's Corner: Bob Gall

Summer 2014 |

Who's Who: Laurie Carson

Summer 2014 |

Community Connections: An HWRF Tutorial in Taiwan

Summer 2014 | Tim Brown-DTC, Qingfu Liu-EMC, Yong Kwon-formerly of EMC, Ligia Bernardet-DTC, Vijay Tallapragada-EMC, and Sam Trahan-EMC some of the HWRF instructors, May 2014, Taipei, Taiwan.

Lead Story: Keeping up with Model Testing & Evaluation Advances: New Verification Displays

Winter 2014 | As numerical model predictions and functions proliferate and move toward ever higher resolution, verification techniques and procedures must also advance and adapt.

Director's Corner: DTC Director

Winter 2014 |

Who's Who: Tim Brown

Winter 2014 | If you still harbor a notion that software engineers live narrow lives, a few minutes with Tim will quickly persuade you otherwise. Between his present 3-year stint with DTC’s hurricane task and graduate school in Perth, Australia, Tim has worked in Toronto with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; Australia with the Center for Water Research; Switzerland, the UK and Antarctica. He declines to speculate where his next career move might take him. In Boulder, he has… Read More

Community Connections: Community Software Maintenance and Support

Winter 2014 | One function of the DTC has been to archive and maintain important model-related code, and to make it available to operational and research segments of the meteorological community. As Laurie Carson describes it, the code maintenance and support function has important objectives in both O2R and R2O arenas: for the former, providing operational software to the research community, and for the latter, facilitating transfer of research capabilities to operational software packages. DTC’s approach is based on a… Read More

Did you know?: NOAA TESTBEDS & THE DTC

Winter 2014 | During California field exercises of the Hydrometeorological Testbed (HMT), a key objective has been to improve longer-range forecasts of so-called “atmospheric rivers” or ARs (narrow streams of mid- to low-level moisture) and other meteorological patterns that produce very heavy rainfall. During efforts to evaluate model forecasts for these exercises the DTC has explored methods that can provide more meaningful verification than standard scores. One such method represents regions of, say, precipitation in… Read More

Lead Story: SREF and the Impact of Resolution and Physics Changes

Autumn 2013 | As operational centers move inexorably toward ensemble-based probabilistic forecasting, the role of the DTC as a bridge between research and operations has expanded to include testing and evaluation of ensemble forecasting systems. In 2010 the ensemble task area in the DTC was designed with the ultimate goal of providing an environment in which extensive testing and evaluation of ensemble-related techniques developed by the NWP community could be conducted. Because these results should be immediately relevant to the… Read More

Director's Corner: Greetings from the Heartland!

Autumn 2013 | The Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) has long been a partner with the DTC since its “unofficial” early days of “core testing” (remember those), to its official charter membership signing in September of 2009, to date. Air Force Weather (AFW) recognized early, the essential role this organization could, and would, play in bolstering and mitigating an ever-growing US Air Force resource constrained terrestrial weather RDT&E environment. Further partnering with our NOAA National Centers for Environmental… Read More

Who's Who: Hui Shao

Autumn 2013 | In many ways, Hui is the quintessential DTC lead. Stationed at NCEP’s Environmental Modeling Center but spending several weeks a year in Boulder, she lives R2O (data assimilation variety) day in and day out. Besides the frequent commutes, she is a long-distance veteran in another way, with undergraduate and masters’ level education in China, a PhD at Florida State, and now her dual appointment of sorts in DC and Boulder. There was some chance at Nanjing University that she would follow a different career: space science was her… Read More

Bridges to Operations: Support for Operational DA at AFWA

Autumn 2013 | Unlike some other forecast model components, a data assimilation (DA) system is usually built to be flexible in order to be run by different forecast systems at varying scales. Its testing and evaluation must therefore be performed in the context of a specific application; in other words, it must be adaptable to different operational requirements as well as to research advances. Established in 2009, the DTC DA team started providing data assimilation support and testing and evaluation for… Read More

Community Connections: DTC Science Advisory Board Meeting

Autumn 2013 | Given its mission to facilitate the research to operations transition in numerical weather prediction, the DTC has a mandate to stay connected with both the research and operational NWP communities. As a means to that end, the DTC Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established to provide (i) advice on strategic directions, (ii) recommendations for new code or new NWP innovations for testing and evaluation, and (iii) reviews of DTC Visitor Program proposals and… Read More

Did you know?: TESTBEDS AND THE DTC

Autumn 2013 | The Tropical Cyclone Modeling Team (TCMT) was formed as part RAL’s Joint Numerical Testbed (JNT) in 2009 to help assess hurricane and tropical storm forecasts from experimental models. As such, its members interact with the DTC in two particular ways: by designing methods and products appropriate for tropical cyclone verification that can be installed in maintained software at the DTC, and by providing both real-time and retrospective performance measures for each years’ hurricane forecasts. At a working level,… Read More

Lead Story: THE 2013 HURRICANE WRF

Summer 2013 | As the 2013 hurricane season continues in the North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific basins, a newly minted HWRF model is providing forecasts for the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on a new machine and with significant code additions. On July 24, the operational HWRF went live on the Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System (WCOSS). A research version for testing continues in use on the jet computers at the NOAA ESRL Global Systems Division. New, more efficient code promises to provide quicker… Read More

Director's Corner: Bill Lapenta

Summer 2013 | Dear Colleagues, The end-to-end modeling systems in the NOAA operational numerical guidance suite are scientifically based, and research results must and do cross the “Valley of Death” into operations. However, the operational and research communities need to make this journey more efficient and cost effective. That’s one reason why we have testbeds like the DTC. During 20 years as a research scientist at NASA, I had the opportunity to work closely with NWS… Read More

Who's Who: Ligia Bernardet

Summer 2013 |

Visitors: Cold Pools and the WRF

Summer 2013 | Robert Fovell and Travis Wilson from the University of California/Los Angeles recently completed a visitor project titled “Improvements to modeling persistent surface cold pools in WRF”, aspects of which will be part of Travis’ PhD work. Travis spent nine months working at the DTC in Boulder, much of the time with his DTC host Jamie Wolff, and Rob visited for two weeks in March and June. A principal motivation for their study was the occasionally poor prediction in numerical models (including in WRF) of the… Read More

Community Connections: Object-based Verification at WPC

Summer 2013 | The Weather Prediction Center (WPC) at NCEP has been using MODE to supplement its traditional verification techniques since April 2010. The Method for Object-based Diagnostic Evaluation (MODE), a utility that is part of the MET verification package, has been developed with substantial support from the DTC. Both are systematically expanded and maintained for specific DTC tasks and an array of outside users. MODE output is available to WPC forecasters in real time through an internal website that displays… Read More

Did you know?: Did you know....

Summer 2013 | Through its Visitor Program, the DTC is currently working with Adam Clark, a scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies (CIMMS), on a project that involves using the Method for Object-based Diagnostic Evaluation – Time Domain (MODE-TD) for identification, tracking, and visualization of simulated supercells in high-resolution models, which will be applied and tested during annual NOAA/Hazardous Weather Testbed Spring Forecasting Experiments.

Lead Story: Mesoscale Model Evaluation Testbed

Spring 2013 | The DTC provides a common framework for researchers to demonstrate the merits of new developments through the Mesoscale Model Evaluation Testbed (MMET). Established in the Fall of 2012, MMET provides initialization and observation data sets for several case studies and week-long extended periods that can be used by the entire numerical weather prediction (NWP) community for testing and evaluation. The MMET data sets also include baseline results generated by the DTC for… Read More

Director's Corner: Welcome Message by Bill Kuo

Spring 2013 | Welcome to the first issue of a quarterly newsletter for the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC). The research to operations (R2O) transition in numerical weather prediction (NWP) is a major challenge facing the U.S. meteorological community. It has been recognized that the U.S. has the largest community around the world working on weather research and numerical modeling. Yet, most of these research results do not directly benefit operational NWP. The DTC was established in 2003 with a mission to facilitate the… Read More

Who's Who: John Halley Gotway

Spring 2013 | If you’ve submitted a question to the MET help desk, or attended a MET tutorial, there’s a very good chance that you already know John Halley Gotway. John joined NCAR’s Research Applications Laboratory (RAL) as a software developer in 2004 and has been contributing to the verification efforts within RAL and the DTC. John’s background is in mathematics. He worked in Los Angeles at Northrop Grumman, before NCAR and the Rockies drew him to Colorado. His expertise is in… Read More

Bridges to Operations: Innovation in HWRF 2013 Baseline

Spring 2013 | One of the regional numerical weather prediction models used operationally by the National Weather Service is the Hurricane WRF (HWRF), a coupled model with atmospheric and ocean components that exchange fluxes of short- and long-wave radiation, momentum, moisture, and heat. The momentum flux is particularly important because the strong winds in tropical cyclones cause turbulence and upwelling in the ocean, which can lead to transport of cold water from deep in the ocean towards the surface, reducing the storm… Read More

Did you know?: NOAA TESTBEDS & THE DTC

Spring 2013 | For several winter seasons, the DTC has worked with the Hydrometeorology Testbed (HMT) to develop effective verification techniques for ensemble forecasts of heavy winter precipitation associated with atmospheric rivers in California. For example, the performance diagram below displays the impact of model resolution. See additional HMT information and links on the DTC website. See http://www.dtcenter. org/eval/hmt/2012/.