ESRL Global Systems Division

NOAA Research Tests On-Demand High Performance Computing and High-Resolution Hurricane Models During 2008 Season

This hurricane season, NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory and Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) tested on-demand high performance computing and high-resolution models as a part of NOAA's Hurricane Forecast Improvement Project (HFIP). During Hurricanes Dolly, Gustav, and Ike, and Tropical Storm Faye, NOAA and university partners ran experimental high-resolution global and regional models on the University of Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) high performance computer, Ranger. This HFIP/TACC effort resulted in real-time experimental forecasts from high-resolution global [ESRL's Flow-following Finite-Volume Icosahedral Model (FIM) at 15 km] and regional [National Center for Atmospheric Research's Advanced Research-Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF-ARW) at 1.5 km) models to investigate the predictability of tropical cyclone track and intensity.

These tests are the first time NOAA has run high-resolution real-time global and regional models for hurricane guidance. Comparisons of FIM forecasts run at 15 km and 30 km have shown that higher resolution has the potential to improve hurricane track and intensity forecasts. A priority for HFIP is to measurably improve track and intensity forecasts in ten years.

Contact information
Name: Stan Benjamin
Tel: 303 497 6387