I was excited when the DTC nominated me to serve on the DTC Science Advisory Board in 2020 and then felt very honored to be asked to become a co-chair in 2022. As one of the first group of EMC staff to be sent to work with DTC on bridging the gap between research and operations, I have watched DTC grow into an organization that accomplished its mission to bridge the gaps, by not only providing community support for several operational softwares, but also facilitating collaboration by developing Common Community Physics Package (CCPP) and METPlus.
I was the developer and code manager for NCEP’s operational Unified Post Processor (UPP) for a decade and, through collaboration with the DTC, we made UPP a community post-processing software package. The UPP was developed to become a common post processor for all of NOAA’s operational atmospheric models. This was initiated by requests from NOAA forecasters as this allows them to perform a fair comparison of all model output when they are derived using the same algorithms. The UPP supports post processing of all operational Atmospheric models including GFS, GEFS, NAM, RAP/HRRR, HWRF, as well as to-be-implemented HAFS, and RRFS.
It has always been my belief that UPP benefited greatly from more than a decade of collaboration with DTC, and I am grateful that the DTC has been providing UPP community support. The DTC was instrumental in helping EMC develop a software management plan during the early stage of collaboration, as well as updating UPP to make it portable on several platforms. These efforts enabled UPP to become a community software that users from different communities can run on their own computer and contribute updates, based on the code-management plan. Additionally, the portable UPP has made it easy for EMC to transition UPP to different operational supercomputers every three years. For more than 10 years, DTC worked with EMC to bring operational UPP updates and bug fixes to the community and also contributed bug fixes from the community back to operations through public releases and semi-annual code merges with EMC. Finally, I cannot thank the DTC enough for developing and continuing to update UPP documentations. EMC's post-processing group was small so DTC’s help in community support and documentation was much appreciated. This documentation has been very helpful in providing guidance to EMC’s collaborators who were interested to work on advancement of post processing algorithms. With the DTC’s effort, UPP is widely used by international weather communities.
While serving on the DTC Science Advisory Board, I’ve witnessed the many challenges the DTC navigated, such as when NOAA asked them to spin up EPIC to take over community software support and transition themselves to focus mainly on testing and evaluation. Although I am concerned about continuity of UPP community support, I am delighted to see that DTC has been stepping up to the challenge of transitioning themselves to this new focus of becoming the T&E power house while winding down on software support. I was glad I could provide advice on operational aspects during their transition.