Tools & Data

RAP Model Image

Weather Models

Rapid Refresh (RAP)

The Rapid Refresh (RAP) is an hourly updated weather forecast model/assimilation system, which went into operation on May 1, 2012, at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) as NOAA's hourly updated model. RAP version 2, a major upgrade, was implemented at NCEP on February 25, 2014.

Scientists from the Earth System Research Laboratory's, Global Sciences Division work with colleagues from NCEP, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and other labs on RAP development.


The High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) is a NOAA real-time 3-km resolution, hourly updated, cloud-resolving atmospheric model. The NCEP HRRR has been operational since September 30, 2014.

Ramp Tool and Metric

One of the challenges of integrating large amounts of wind and solar power onto the electric grid is the high temporal variability of these power sources. That is, one gusty day can be followed by a calm day. That means wind power generation can change by large amounts very rapidly, an occurrence called a wind ramp event. NOAA ESRL researchers have developed a Ramp Tool and Metric to identify these wind ramps, and quantify model skill at forecasting them.

This ramp tool has three components: the first is a process to identify ramp events in the time series of power. The second component is a method for matching in time each forecast ramp event with the most appropriate observed ramp event. The third and last component of the ramp tool is a process through which a skill score of the forecast model is determined.

Read more: A Ramp tool and Metric to Measure the Skill of Numerical Weather Prediction Models at Forecasting Wind Ramp Events

National Energy with Weather System (NEWS) Simulator