Earth Modeling

HRRR Image

HRRR (High Resolution Rapid Refresh) experimental 9-hour forecast of thunderstorms for April 27, 2011 in the southeast U.S. The Tuscaloosa tornadic storm, indicated by the white circle, was predicted with county-scale accuracy. Source: NOAA ESRL

The Global Systems Division is a world leader in developing storm-scale to global weather prediction models and is well aligned with NOAA’s objectives to build a holistic understanding of the Earth system and an integrated environmental modeling system. Through the research and development of the hourly-updating Rapid Refresh (RAP) and the High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) models, GSD transformed storm-scale modeling technologies to greatly improve localized severe weather forecasts by operational weather services. GSD will continue to evolve these models to better support timely decision-making, particularly for disaster preparedness, air traffic management and energy development. Working with colleagues from other organizations, GSD researchers are performing in-depth Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) and Observing System Experiments (OSEs) to quantitatively evaluate the benefits of current and future observing systems for improving weather forecasts from numerical models. GSD scientists are also working to develop the next-generation global hydrostatic and non-hydrostatic atmospheric models to help the National Weather Service build a Weather-Ready Nation. Using its own internal supercomputing facility plus external high performance computing resources, GSD is also testing the current generation of global models, running them at unprecedented resolutions in real-time, to evaluate the model output and compare the different data assimilation techniques. These results will inform model developers how to improve the next generation of global models. GSD will be at the forefront of coupling atmospheric, land surface, ocean and air chemistry models, an effort towards an earth system model which will enhance the scope and accuracy of weather predictions.