News

Software Release: Release of The MET Version 6.1 Verification Package

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 for this new version can be found in the release notes. Executables for MET v6.1 are available on several…

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

"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."

Who's Who: Evan Kalina

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 Evan graduated with his Ph.D. and invited…

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

This is a cross-section plot of one set of cold-start RAP simulations. The figure highlights the reduction in spurious noise above the Rocky Mountains.

Community Connections: WRF Users' Workshop - June 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 focused on the newly developed WRF Pre-…

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

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 dynamical core feedbacks. It can also be…

Announcement: 2018 Hurricane WRF Tutorial

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 Hurricane Weather Research and Forecast system (HWRF)…

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

Content contributed by Staff

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: GSI user’s pageEnKF user’s page:  Please send questions and inquiries to the help desk emails: gsi-help@ucar.edu and enkf-help@ucar.edu.…

Lead Story: Community Modeling Workshop Outcome

Content contributed by Mike Farrar
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.

“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

Content contributed by Bill Kuo

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 publication of this newsletter.

Who's Who: Jamie Wolff

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 weather we have here in Colorado! I do have one…

Bridges to Operations: The Unified Post Processor

Content contributed by Kate Fossell

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 T, humidity, and wind fields Precipitation-related fields PBL-related…

Visitors: Evaluating Convective Structure

Content contributed by Mariusz Starzec

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. Any biases present in convective forecasts…

Community Connections: NGGPS Atmospheric Physics Workshop

Content contributed by Louisa Nance

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. Current plans are to deliver the advanced physics suite by…

Did you know?: Documentation is important!

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.

Software Release: Release of the MET version 6.0 Verification Package

Content contributed by Staff

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 be found in the release notes. Executables for MET v6.0 are available on several…

Lead Story: Evaluation of New Cloud Verification Methods

Content contributed by Barb Brown
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.

“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

Content contributed by Mike Farrar

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 manage the existing suite of models, as well…

Who's Who: Man Zhang

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 Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF)…

Bridges to Operations: The 2016 Hurricane WRF System

Content contributed by Kathryn Newman

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 nest grid sizes. The HWRF community modeling…

Visitors: Cloud Overlap Influences on Tropical Cyclone Evolution

Content contributed by Michael Iacono

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 shortwave) energy, which fuels the climate…

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

Content contributed by Louisa Nance

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 activities,” said SAB Chair Russ Schumacher. “The SAB discussed ways that these activities can be further strengthened, including through…

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

Content contributed by Staff

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 reach out to forecast and user community Interested in participating?  Contact Glenn White or Geoff Manikin Here's a conference abstract of Glenn's on this group toohttps://ams.confex.com/ams/…

Director's Corner: Paula Davidson

Content contributed by Paula Davidson

NOAA’s testbeds and proving grounds (NOAA TBPG) are an important link between research advances and applications, and especially NOAA operations. Some are long-recognized, like the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC), while others have been chartered more recently. With the 2015 launch of the Arctic Testbed in Alaska, twelve NOAA TBPG follow execution and governance guidelines to be formally recognized by NOAA. These facilities foster and host competitively-selected, collabora- tive transition testing projects to meet NOAA mission needs. Projects are supported through…

Who's Who: Kathryn Newman

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--to know what goes into the models.” She…

Visitors: Object-based Verification Methods

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 sophisticated object-based verification methods. The primary objective of their visit to the DTC was to learn…

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

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 System (NGGPS) Adding new capabilities to the…

Lead Story: The need for a Common Community Physics Package

Content contributed by Joshua Hacker
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.

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-stepping scheme. Dependencies amongst schemes are also common. For…

Director's Corner: Vijay Tallapragada EMC

Content contributed by Vijay Tallapragada

Visitors: Harnessing the Power of Evolution for Weather Prediction

Content contributed by Paul Roebber

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 equations (a kind of model output statistics or MOS) modified…

Lead Story: Evaluating WRF performance over time

Content contributed by Jamie Wolff

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

Content contributed by Kevin Kelleher

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 develop global models at resolutions…

Who's Who: Tara Jensen

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 at Colorado State University was…

Bridges to Operations: Bridges to Operations

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 include different combinations of…

Community Connections: The 2014 GSI Community Tutorial

Content contributed by Hui Shao

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 users can gain knowledge essential to running…

Announcement: News from the DTC

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’ on January 27-29 2015 at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction in College Park, MD. The workshop is intended to stimulate the development of…

Software Release: SOFTWARE ANNOUNCEMENTS

MET v5.0, release September 2014 - The MET development team at the DTC is pleased to announce the release of the MET version 5.0 verification package. It is available for download from the MET Users web page: http://www.dtcenter. org/met/users. Updates include the addition of auto-conf to streamline compilation and it should be noted this represents a major change in the directory structure of MET. More details are available here http://www.dtcenter.org/met/users/support/ release_notes/METv5.0_release_notes.php Also included in the release are updates to the GRIB1 and…

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

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. Users may go to http://www.dtcenter.org/HurrWRF/users to download codes, acquire datasets, and get information and documentation about HWRF. The upgrades in version 3.9a are…