ESRL Global Systems Division

Modeling and Data Assimilation

Flow-following Finite-volume Icosahedral Model (FIM)

NOAA/ESRL scientists have developed an initial version of a new global model including use of the adaptive isentropic-sigma hybrid vertical coordinate successful with the RUC model, accurate finite-volume horizontal advection, and use of an icosahedral horizontal grid. ESRL is collaborating with NCEP/EMC on development of the FIM, and was aided by GFDL on its initial design.

Rapid Refresh (RR)

GSD's Assimilation and Modeling Branch (AMB) scientists lead development of the next-generation replacement for the (RUC), the Rapid Refresh (RR). The RR is also an hourly assimilation/model system, much like the RUC, but differs from the RUC in many ways. This has replaced RUC as of May 1, 2012. Read more about it here:


GSD's Assimilation and Modeling Branch (AMB) is leading the development of a next- generation coupled weather/air quality numerical prediction system based upon the Weather Research & Forecast (WRF) model, called WRF-Chem. Gas-phase chemistry and aerosol processes are tightly coupled to meteorology within the WRF model structure. Since the model also includes the aerosol direct and indirect effect in addition to sophisticated microphysics packages, WRF-Chem can be used for process studies that are extremely relevant for global change predictions. WRF-Chem has a large international user base and, in addition to studying global change processes, is used to predict weather, dispersion, and air quality.

Weather Research & Forecast Model (WRF) (external Web site)

The Weather Research and Forecast Model is a collaborative partnership to develop an advanced mesoscale forecast and assimilation system, and accelerate research advances into operational forecasting.

Local Analysis and Prediction System (LAPS)

This system integrates data from virtually every meteorological observation system into a very high-resolution gridded framework centered on a forecast office's domain of responsibility.

MAPS Surface Assimilation System (MSAS)

MSAS produces hourly analyses and derived grids for several meteorological variables. MSAS runs operationally at NWS forecast offices as part of the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS). The domain and resolution configurations of the MSAS system are flexible, in default mode, the AWIPS system provides hourly analyses on a 60-km grid covering the 48 contiguous states (CONUS) and neighboring areas of Canada and Mexico. However, each forecast office can modify the location, size, and resolution of its local MSAS domain, and also the model background utilized in the MSAS analyses. MSAS also supports domains outside the Continental U.S., i.e. Alaska and Puerto Rico.

WRF Developmental Testbed Center (external Web site)

The Developmental Testbed Center (DTC) is a facility where the NWP (Numerical Weather Prediction) research and operational communities interact to accelerate testing and evaluation of new models and techniques for research applications and operational implementation, without interfering with current operations.

WRF Portal

WRF Portal is a Java Web Start GUI application that simplifies the configuring and running of WRF models. It includes the WRFSI GUI (Domain) Tool that allows one to graphically select/define the model domain.