The high-resolution Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) is the first model to serve as both the backbone of the nation's public weather forecasts and a tool for cutting-edge weather research. Because the model fulfills both functions, it is easier for research findings to be translated into improved operational models, leading to better forecasts.
The model was adopted for use by NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) as the primary model for its one-to-three-day U.S. forecasts and as a key part of the NWS's ensemble modeling system for short-range forecasts. The U.S. Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA) also has used WRF for several areas of operations around the world.
"The Weather Research and Forecasting model development project is the first time researchers and operational scientists have come together to collaborate on a weather modeling project of this magnitude," says Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
By late 2007, the new model will shape forecasts that serve more than a third of the world's population. It is being adopted by the national weather agencies of Taiwan, South Korea, China, and India.
"WRF is becoming the world's most popular model for weather prediction because it serves forecasters as well as researchers," says NCAR director Tim Killeen.
Tests over the last year at NOAA and AFWA have shown that the new model offers multiple benefits over its predecessor models. For example:
Errors in nighttime temperature and humidity across the eastern United States are cut by more than 50%.
The model depicts flight-level winds in the subtropics that are stronger and more realistic, thus leading to improved turbulence guidance for aircraft.
The model outperformed its predecessor in more than 70% of the situations studied by AFWA.
WRF incorporates data from satellites, radars, and a wide range of other tools with greater ease than earlier models.
NCAR has been experimenting with an advanced research version of WRF, with very fine resolution and innovative techniques, to demonstrate where potential may exist for improving the accuracy of hurricane track, intensity, and rainfall forecasts. A special hurricane-oriented version of WRF, the HWRF, is now being developed by scientists from NOAA, the Naval Research Laboratory, the University of Rhode Island, and Florida State University to support NOAA hurricane forecasting. The high-resolution HWRF will track waves and other features of the ocean and atmosphere, including the heat and moisture exchanged between them. Its depiction of hurricane cores and the ocean below them will be enhanced by data from satellites, aircraft, and other observing tools.
WRF also is skilled at depicting intense squall lines, supercell thunderstorms, and other types of severe weather. Although no model can pinpoint hours ahead of time where a thunderstorm will form, WRF outpaces many models in its ability to predict what types of storms could form and how they might evolve.
Approximately 4,000 people in 77 countries are registered users of WRF. Many of these users suggest improvements, which are tested for operational usefulness at a testbed facility based at NCAR and supported by NOAA.
"WRF will continue to improve because of all the research and development pouring into it from our nation's leading academic and scientific institutions," said AFWA commander Patrick Condray.
David Hosansky | EurekAlert!
Japanese researchers develop ultrathin, highly elastic skin display
19.02.2018 | University of Tokyo
Why bees soared and slime flopped as inspirations for systems engineering
19.02.2018 | Georgia Institute of Technology
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
20.02.2018 | Life Sciences
20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering
20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy