13B.1 Unified Forecast System (UFS)

Thursday, 16 January 2020: 1:30 PM
257AB (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Hendrik L. Tolman, NOAA, Silver Spring, MD; and D. M. Koch, R. Rood, K. Keith, W. Pryor, F. Adimi, and S. Morris

Unified Forecast System (UFS)

Hendrik Tolman1 , Dorothy Koch1, DaNa Carlis2, Richard Rood3, Karen Keith4, William Pryor4, Farida Adimi4, Sherrie Morris4


The Unified Forecast System (UFS) is a community-based, coupled, comprehensive Earth modeling system. The UFS numerical applications span local to global domains and predictive time scales from sub-hourly analyses to seasonal predictions. It is designed to support the Weather Enterprise and to be the source system for NOAA's operational numerical weather prediction applications. Over the last few years, the NWS has developed plans to move toward a UFS, and these plans have already resulted in a simplification of the production suite. In parallel to this planning, the NWS has executed a Research to Operations (R2O) initiative to create an advanced Next Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS). Whereas NGGPS mostly focuses on atmospheric modeling, the UFS expands this to the entire set of (coupled) modeling requirements for the NWS. The UFS has evolved to become a strong partnership across NOAA, including both NWS and OAR, together with community collaborators.

The next step in unifying the production suite is to address convection allowing modeling (CAM), nowcasts and analysis. The NWS has committed to also using the FV3 dynamical core for these higher-resolution, generally regional applications. The FV3 dycore thus becomes a core element of a UFS. The UFS furthermore is designed to have a modular atmospheric physics approach, and inherently is a coupled system across many environmental processes. Data Assimilation is also a key element of the UFS, and is targeting the adoption of the JEDI framework.

This presentation will give background information on the design of the UFS, and will then focus on goals for improved coupling capabilities for numerical ocean, wave, sea ice, land surface, aerosol and atmospheric composition models and integration with data assimilation, ensemble design, post-processing, and guidance products within the NOAA Environmental Modeling System (NEMS) and Earth System Modeling Framework (ESMF) infrastructure. These activities furthermore are at the core of the effort to simplify the full production suite of operational models at NWS.

1 NOAA, National Weather Service, Office of Science and Technology Integration

2 NOAA, Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Office of Weather and Air Quality

3 University of Michigan

4 Science and Technology Corporation

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