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Community Connections: UFS SRW Application Training: The Wrap Up

Winter 2022

Supporting the development of the Unified Forecast System (UFS) has been a central focus of the DTC for several years now. Many staff have concentrated on support, development, and training of this new state-of-the-art system that bridges the gap between the research and operational communities. In September 2021, we took another significant step in this process when the DTC hosted the first training event for the UFS Short-Range Weather (SRW) Application.

The UFS SRW Application Training Event was held 20–24 September 2021 and was attended virtually by more than 100 students, scientists, software engineers, and other professionals from more than a dozen time zones around the world. The goal was to teach those in attendance not only how to build, run, and customize the App, but also impart the overall vision of the UFS and invite them to provide code and scientific enhancements to the UFS community.

Screenshot of some attendees and lecturers from the UFS SRW Training Event


Over the course of the five-day, Monday through Friday training event, the attendees were treated to a wide suite of lectures from subject-matter experts representing the DTC staff and various NOAA labs and centers, including the Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), and Global Systems Laboratory (GSL). On the first day, the overall vision of the UFS SRW Application in research and operations was explained, before delving into the basics of installing, configuring, and running the Application. More details about the pre-processing utilities were covered on day 2, along with several in-depth lectures on the atmospheric model and its dynamical core. Day 3 included details about prerequisite libraries, using different physics packages, post-processing and graphics/visualization. More in-depth topics were introduced on day 4, particularly geared towards scientific users and code developers seeking to make changes to the application and potentially contribute those changes back to the community code. Finally, Friday included presentations on future development from operational and research groups in EMC and GSL. 


UFS SRW Training Attendees displayed by organizational type


In addition to lectures, hands-on sessions were conducted each day for a subset of the attendees to practice the installation and use of the application using the NCAR Cheyenne supercomputer. On days 4 and 5, open forums were held for discussion and questions, exploring topics such as computational performance, customization, and visions for future capabilities and adding new components to the system.

The training event may be over, but you can still benefit from the plentiful training materials. Videos of the lectures have been posted online on the agenda page, as well as slides. We invite anyone interested in the UFS SRW Application to take advantage of these materials, as well as other resources such as the Users Guide, Support Forums, and GitHub page.


Contributed by Michael Kavulich, Jr