ESRL Global Systems Division

2005 OAR Outstanding Scientific Paper Award

ESRL's Global Systems Division joins Dr. Rick Spinrad, Assistant Administrator, OAR, in congratulating co-authors Stan Benjamin, Dezsö Dévényi, Steve Weygandt, Kevin Brundage, John Brown, Georg Grell, Dongsoo Kim, Barry Schwartz, Tatiana Smirnova, and Tracy Lorraine Smith for being recipients of one of the 2005 OAR Outstanding Scientific Paper Awards. The award-winning paper, "An Hourly Assimilation-Forecast Cycle: The RUC," was published in Monthly Weather Review. The annual NOAA/OAR Outstanding Paper Awards recognize papers having exceptional originality, scientific significance, technological importance, longevity in value, quality of writing, and relevance to the NOAA mission.

This paper describes the analysis system utilized within the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) and discusses some issues associated with high-frequency data assimilation cycling. The RUC is an operational weather forecast system developed within the ESRL Global Systems Division and run operationally at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The RUC assimilation/forecast system ingests a wide variety of meteorological observations each hour (a frequency much higher than is generally done) and produces short-range (up to 12-h) gridded weather forecasts.

RUC analyses and short-range forecasts (initialized from the analyses) are used extensively within the aviation and severe weather communities as well as by National Weather Service forecasters. As such, the RUC forecast system is a vital component of the NOAA mission to provide weather information to society and to support a safe and efficient transportation system. More about RUC can be found at

Contact information
Name: Stan Benjamin
Tel: 303-497-6387