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Community Connections: Container & CCPP AMS Short Courses

Autumn 2019

One of the primary goals of the DTC is to provide software and infrastructure that aid in transitions between the research and operational communities.  The American Meteorology Society (AMS) provides an ideal venue for sharing these tools with the community through the AMS short course offerings at the Annual Meeting.  The DTC is looking forward to presenting two short courses at the 100th AMS Annual Meeting in Boston, MA in January 2020. 

“Integrating Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) System Components Using Container Technology and Cloud Services”

The goal of this course is to raise awareness about tools and facilities available to the community for testing and evaluating Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) innovations, including the emerging set of software tools in reusable containers and cloud computing resources, through hands-on learning. Containerized software is used to bundle all operating systems, code, library dependencies, and executables needed to both build and run software packages on any computing environment.  The DTC has leveraged this technology to create a portable end-to-end system comprised of various NWP components such as the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF), Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) data assimilation system, Unified Post Processor (UPP), and Model Evaluation Tools (MET). These can be executed on any platform, including in the cloud, without the typical upfront time and frustration of building the software packages from the ground up. The course will introduce the concept of containerized software, provide an overview of the NWP components available from the DTC, and offer a hands-on tutorial that will allow participants to use the containers to complete case study examples using cloud services.  While this course may appeal to a wide-reaching audience, this information may be particularly useful to undergraduate and graduate students interested in learning more about NWP and to university faculty that may find software containers and cloud computing to be useful teaching tools to add to their course curriculum. The online tutorial for the end-to-end NWP containers is publicly available at:

“Experimentation and Development of Physical Parameterizations for Numerical Weather Prediction Using a Single-Column Model and the Common Community Physics Package (CCPP)”

This half-day course will teach participants how to develop and experiment with physics parameterizations within the CCPP framework. CCPP is the mechanism adopted by NOAA to drive atmospheric physics within Unified Forecast System (UFS) applications. NCAR also plans to use CCPP in their modeling systems (e.g., WRF, MPAS, CESM). A single-column model will be used to demonstrate how the CCPP framework works and to expose participants to physics suites available in the CCPP. The use of prepared, observationally-based cases combined with this tool’s computational simplicity will allow participants to grasp relevant concepts related to the CCPP and to conduct basic experiments. Graduate students, physics developers and researchers, as well as those with a general interest in working within NOAA frameworks could benefit from attending this course.

AMS Short Course
100th AMS Meeting
Contributed by Kate Fossell and Grant Firl.