A new forecasting model is on the horizon

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Meteorologists are just like ordinary people, we love shiny new things, and according to NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, a new weather forecasting model is on its way. The new and improved GFS (Global Forecasting System) will use more powerful internal computers from NOAA.

Goals for the new model are:

  • a unified system to improve forecast accuracy beyond 8 to 10 days
  • better model forecasts of hurricane track and intensity, and
  • the extension of weather forecasting through 14 days and for extreme events, 3 to 4 weeks in advance.

Forecast models work by using data acquired by sending up weather balloons from multiple stations twice a day. The models internal computers use that data to recognize patterns and to calculate future possibilities, aka, the forecast. In the future, the GFS will try to get better at doing two things at once. The model will run data to predict how large scale weather patterns will develop and at the same time be able to focus on smaller scale weather events, such as hurricanes, without losing detail.

 The new dynamic core, FV3, was developed by NOAA. The FV3 core brings a new level of accuracy and numeric efficiency to the model’s representation of atmospheric processes such as air motions. This makes possible simulations of clouds and storms, at resolutions not yet used in an operational global model. The FV3 core enables the model to provide localized forecasts for several weather events simultaneously all while generating a global forecast every six hours. Looking 10 years ahead, the GFS model with the FV3 core will run in higher resolution and be able to zoom in on smaller and smaller storm systems to provide forecasters better pictures of how storms will evolve.

To learn more about the development of a new and improved GFS forecast model, click on this link form NOAA http://www.noaa.gov/noaa-develop-new-global-weather-model