Interactive Symposium on AWIPS


Running the MM5 in an AWIPS Environment

Eric Lenning, NOAA/NWS, St. Charles, MO; and R. Przybylinski and J. A. Nelson

As desktop computing power continues to grow, local mesoscale modeling is becoming increasingly practical and popular in National Weather Service forecast offices. In addition, the flexibility of AWIPS now means that viewing local model data in an operational environment is relatively easy. This is true both for data generated within a forecast office and for data obtained from an outside institution such as a nearby university. This paper discusses the general process of configuring, running, and viewing output from the NCAR / Penn State Mesoscale Model (MM5) entirely within an AWIPS environment.

The first step toward utilizing MM5 data in an AWIPS environment is obtaining and compiling the model code and deciding where and how the model is going to run. This task is well documented by the MM5 Tutorial Notes and Users Guide, although some special steps are required when performing this process in the AWIPS environment. This paper will explain these special steps and discuss the various ways to configure the MM5 to run at a forecast office.

After the model is compiled and configured, the next step is to run the model. In reality, this requires three separate steps: pre-processing, execution, and post-processing. The main pre-processing task involves obtaining synoptic-scale model data for boundary conditions. The task of actually running the model involves setting up several scripts to execute the various parts of the MM5 system. The post-processing task involves preparing the model output for use by AWIPS or some other display program. This section of the paper will discuss each of these tasks, focusing specifically on how they are accomplished within the AWIPS environment.

Once the model output file is post-processed, the AWIPS system must be prepared to receive and display MM5 data, and the model data file must be moved into AWIPS. A detailed set of instructions for accomplishing these tasks is provided by Western Region AWIPS Technical Note 4.3-01. Since this is very similar for each office, this paper will only cover those aspects of this process that may vary from site to site.

In summary, we will discuss the general process of configuring, running, and viewing output from the NCAR / PSU MM5 in an AWIPS environment. Since local modeling is becoming increasingly common in the National Weather Service, we hope the information provided here will prove useful for those offices hoping to understand at least one way to run a local model and view the output in AWIPS.

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Session 2, Local Modeling
Monday, 14 January 2002, 4:00 PM-5:15 PM

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