The challenges ahead include use of the increasing number of satellite observations in data assimilation systems for the atmosphere, ocean and land surface; implementation of a coupled atmosphere/ocean/land surface climate forecast system for seasonal-to-interannual time scales; operational non-hydrostatic modeling for mesoscale forecasting of severe weather; and an operational coastal ocean forecast system.
Strategically, to improve scientific interactions with the research community and accelerate improvements to operational systems, EMC is actively engaged in development of community-based models (with the Weather Research and Forecast, WRF, effort) and a community-based global model and data assimilation system. A partnership with the NASA Data Assimilation Office (DAO), the NOAA Laboratories, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research are being established to form a Joint NASA/NOAA Center for Satellite Data Assimilation in which operational NCEP and DAO data assimilation systems will be used to develop and test new techniques for data assimilation and modeling. In addition, partners from the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Wisconsin will be involved in development of a next generation global model for weather and climate applications. Details concerning these partnerships will be elaborated in this paper.