Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the website move and what happened to the Java Web Start versions of the software?

NOAA policy dictated that the website be hosted under a noaa.gov domain. The Java Web Start certicate wasn't renewed as a cost cutting measure, so users will need to download the zip version of the software going forward.

What's the best way to get support?

Go to our support page to ask a question or submit a bug report.

Do you have an online forum?

Yes, we have topics for WRF Portal and WRF Domain Wizard on the WRF Users Forum.

I can't connect to the computer with WRF installed on it using WRF Portal (since it uses token cards or does some SSH redirection). How can I run WRF Portal?

In this case, just install WRF Portal on the remote "WRF" computer. Then SSH to that computer with the -X option (-Y for Mac). This will forward back the graphics using X Windows, and as far as WRF Portal is concerned, you are running with a local computer connection (no WRF Portal SSH required). Here is a tutorial showing how to do this.

I can't seem to view NetCDF files in Panoply since I get an error message about downloading Panoply jar file. What do I do?

Here are instructions for manually downloading/installing Panoply.

What is WRF?

The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is a next-generation mesocale numerical weather prediction system designed to serve both operational forecasting and atmospheric research needs. It features multiple dynamical cores, a 3-dimensional variational (3DVAR) data assimilation system, and a software architecture allowing for computational parallelism and system extensibility. WRF is suitable for a broad spectrum of applications across scales ranging from meters to thousands of kilometers. You can download it from here.

What is the External Workflow Manager?

The External Workflow Manager requires Ruby to run. Since it runs on the server on which WRF is installed, even if you shut down WRF Portal, it continues running and monitoring your jobs. It is also more robust (it can resubmit jobs on failure). You must have SGE or LSF installed in order to use the external workflow manager. You can download the external workflow manager and read documentation about it here.

How do I install and run WPS and WRF?

WRF ARW Online Tutorial (how to install and run WPS and WRF)
WRF/WPS User's Guide for version 3
User's Guide to WPS and WRF 2.x (PDF version)
WPS/WRF Tutorials
WRF Forum
Download WRF 2.x Model Test Data (January 2000 30 km data, June 2001 10 km data)
Download WRF 3 (plus model test data) and WPS 3 (plus input data / grib files)
namelist.input options (documentation)

What is WRF Portal?

WRF Portal is a Java webstart GUI application that simplifies the configuring and running of WRF models, and it includes a WRF Domain Wizard that allows you to graphically select/define your domain and run WPS. WRF Portal runs on all platforms and can be accessed from this page. It also includes an internal workflow manager and an optional, server side workflow manager program (written in Ruby) that manages and executes the jobs created by the portal.

Where Can I Get The Source Code?

Download it from here

How Many Users of the Software Are There?

Look here.

How do I use WRF Portal and WRF Domain Wizard?

See the html or video tutorials.

How much does it cost?

WRF Portal and WRF Domain Wizard are free.

What do I need on my system to run WRF Portal?

You'll need a Java runtime environment (JRE) version 1.5 or later, at least 390MB of free RAM, as well as a 1024 x 768 (or better) display. Java 6 (1.6) is recommended.

What language(s) are WRF Portal and WRF Domain Wizard written in?

The programs are written in Java and the external (server side) workflow manager is written in Ruby. WRF Portal stores its information in an HSQL (or mySQL) database.

Who developed WRF Portal and WRF Domain Wizard?

The Advanced Computing Group of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) developed WRF Portal. See the About page.

What is NOAA?

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce).