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Director's Corner: Frederick Toepfer

Summer 2015

The Next Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS) project is a National Weather Service initiative to design, develop, and implement a next generation global prediction system to take advantage of evolving high performance computing architectures, to continue pushing toward higher resolutions needed to increase forecast accuracy at shorter timeframes, and to address growing service demands for increased skill at extended ranges (weeks to months). The NGGPS project goals are: (1.) expansion and implementation of critical weather forecasting research to operations (R2O) capabilities to accelerate the development and implementation of global weather prediction model advances and upgrades; (2.) continued improvement in data assimilation techniques; and (3.) improved software architecture and system engineering to support broad community interaction with the system. The introduction of Community Codes for all major components of the NGGPS and the establishment of a Global Modeling Test Bed (GMTB) to oversee community interaction with the codes are significant changes to the National Weather Service business model to advance numerical weather prediction skill in the US. Over the next five years, contributions from a wide sector of the numerical weather prediction community including NCEP, NOAA and other agency laboratories and private sector and universities, will be incorporated into an upgraded operational system to deliver a NGGPS that meets the evolving national prediction requirements.

Major work areas in the NGGPS project include selecting and further developing a new atmospheric dynamic core and improving model physics to better describe phenomenon at global to regional scales. Additional work will be conducted to accelerate development and implementation of weather prediction model components such as ocean, wave, sea ice, land surface and aerosol models, and improve coupling between these various components of the model system.

The DTC will play an important role in the NGGPS project. The new GMTB has been established as an extension of the current DTC. The GMTB is initially funded by the NGGPS project to assist in the development and testing of a Common Community Physics Package, as well as provide code management and support for an associated interoperable physics driver. The GMTB will also assist the NGGPS project in the development and testing of a sea ice model.

Active community participation in the development of the NGGPS is considered key to the success of the project. The DTC is perfectly positioned to assist in this aspect of the project. As the NGGPS Project Manager, I am excited about the DTC’s role, through the GMTB, in the project and anticipate a productive and successful relationship going forward.

Contributed by Fred Toepfer.