New Community Portal for Accessing NWS Global Weather Model Codes


May 22, 2007

Scientists at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Physical Sciences Division (PSD) have created a new web portal where researchers can download the source code for the National Center for Environmental Prediction's Global Forecast System (GFS) model. The web portal ( http://code.google.com/p/ncepgfs/source) contains the the latest operational version of the GFS and all the libraries, scripts and data files required to run it. The operational source code has been modified to run in Linux cluster environments, which are the most common type of computing platform available to weather and climate researchers. In addition to being able to download GFS source code, users of the portal can contribute to a Wiki, provide feedback, and submit improvements to the code.

Background:
GFS is global numerical weather prediction model, which is run four times a day and produces forecasts up to 16 days in advance. This global forecast model is used by NWS as the primary tool for making forecasts from three days to two weeks out. Because of infrastructure constraints, the NWS had not been able to make the code usable across different computer platforms hindering research that could be utilized to make improvements to the model.

Significance:
This web portal helps bridge the gap of accessibility of the GFS model to the research community by providing public access to the model code. It is an important contribution to the NOAA Climate Testbed efforts to accelerate the transfer of research and development into improved NOAA operational climate forecasts, products, and applications as well as stimulating research and enhancing collaborations between university and NOAA researchers. This activity supports NOAA's mission goal of serving society's need for weather and water information.

Contact: Jeff Whitaker