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NCEP/EMC DTRA Met Modeling Support

NOAA/NWS/NCEP/EMC provides real-time and retrospective mesoscale modeling support to the DOD Defense Threats Reduction Agency (DTRA) through collaboration with Titan/L3 Inc and Penn State University. NCEP/EMC Mesoscale Modeling Branch supports transport and dispersion assessments for DTRA by developing, testing and evaluating mesoscale modeling systems to drive the DTRA Hazards Assessments and Prediction Center (HPAC) SCIPUFF dispersion model.  The following areas of development are explored:
  • Provide Ensemble Products to drive DTRA Hazard Prediction Assessment Capability (HPAC) uncertainty estimates
  • Enhanced NCEP model products
  • Testing a High Resolution Ensemble Forecast System
  • Developing probabilistic verification capabilities
  • Evaluate WRF-NMM turbulence field performance
    • IHOP-2002, DIPOLE-1996 case studies
  • Evaluate NCEP Model PBL performance
    • Add PBL height verification to NCEP FVS
  • Real-time high resolution WRF-NMM support
    • 2006 Torino Olympics nests, 2005 Inauguration nest
Recent NCEP Presentations:

McQueen, et al. 2007: Penn State University DTRA Weather Support Project Workshop

McQueen, J.T., D. Jovic, H. Chuang, B. Zhou, J. Du, M. Tsidulko, Geoff DiMego, 2007: An Overview of the NOAA National Centers for Environmnental Prediction (NCEP) meteorological model products to support atmospheric transport and dispersion studies. 18th Conf. on Numerical Weather Prediction, 24-29 June, Park City, UT. 3B.7, Amer. Meteor. Soc.

McQueen, J.T., D. Jovic, H. Chuang, B. Zhou, J. Du, S.G. Gopalakrishnam, M. Tsidulko, Z. Janjic, Z. Toth and Geoff DiMego, 2007: An Overview of the NOAA National Centers for Environmnental Prediction (NCEP) meteorological model products and their application for atmospheric transport and dispersion studies. The Conference for Chemical and Biological Information Systems, JSTO, Jan.8-12, 2007, Austin, TX.

McQueen, J. T., D. Jovic, B. Zhou, S. Gopalakrishnan, J. Du and G. DiMego, 2006: Use of NCEP meteorological model predictions for HPAC Applications, preprint, 10th Conference for Atmospherice Transport and Dispersion, George Mason University.

Stauffer, et al. 2007: Final Titan/L3 Project Report

DIPOLE Pride 1996 Experiments:  (Dusan Jovic)

NCEP personnel modified the WRF-NMM (Non-hydrostatic Mesoscale Model) V2.2 preprocessing and nested grid software to run more than two nested grids. Therefore, NMM could be configured with high resolution needed to evaluate model performance for the DIPOLE-PRIDE 1996 over the Nevada Test Site. The WRF preprocessor was also modified to ingest the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) outputs to initialize and provide boundary conditions for the DIPOLE-PRIDE cases.

WRF-NMM simulations are found here:

Domain and Configuration :
WRF-NMM DIPOLE Pride Domain configuration
Domain 12 km Parent  4 km Nest

NX 80 80
NY 164 164 164
NZ 52  (model top=50 mb) 52 52
DT 24 sec 8 sec 2.33 sec
DLAT/DLON 0.072 degrees 0.024 degrees 0.008 degrees
Initial Conditions North American Regional Reanalysis 32 km grids
Microphysics Ferrier lumped species
Cumulus Parameterization Betts-Miller-Janjic
Radiation GFDL Shortwave/Longwave (Lacis-Hansen, 1974)
Planetary Boundary Layer Mellor-Yamada-Janjic 1.5 TKE scheme
Land Surface Model  NOAA OSU AFWA OHD (NOAH)

IHOP 2002 Experiments (Dusan Jovic, Marina Tsidulko and Zavisa Janjic)

Three IHOP cases were run using the WRF-NMM V2.2 launcher. One North American 12 km grid was configured and 48 hour simulations were run using NAM initial and boundary conditions for May 29, June 6 and 7, 2002. Time series outputs were provided to Hanna, Inc. at 16 IHOP observation sites for further analysis of various boundary layer fields. Predicted boundary layer fields from the 12 km runs are plotted at:

February 2008, the IHOP cases were rerun at 4 km horizontal resolution covering most of the Central High Resolution Window domain
The 4 km simulations are plotted here:
4 km configuration was similar to the DIPOLE run except for domain NX, NY (309 x 860) and central position at (37 N, -98 W)


Hanna, S.R., E. Hendrick, L. Santos, B. Reen, D. R. Stauffer, A. Deng, J. T. McQueen, M. Tsidulko, and I. Sykes, 2008: Comparison of observed, MM5 and WRF model-simulated, and HPAC/SCIPUFF-assumed boundary layer meteorological variables for three days during the IHOP field experiment. 1.2; 15th Joint Conference on the Applications of Air Pollution Meteorology with the A&WMA. New Orleans, LA, Jan. 20-25.

Hanna, S., E. Hendrick, B. Reen, D.R. Stauffer, J.T. McQueen, D. Jovic, I. Sykes, 2007: Comparison of observed, MM5 and WRF model-simulated and HPAC-assumed boundary layer meteorological variables for fives days during the IHOP field experiment, Abstract, Chemical Biological Information Systems Conference & Exhibition, Austin, TX, Jan 8-12.

High Resolution Ensemble Forecasting (HREF) system (Binbin Zhou and Jun Du)

A high resolution ensemble forecast system (HREF) was configured over the Eastern U.S. at 12 km resolution.  NCEP ensemble software was upgraded to V2.2 and Nine WRF-NMM members were configured consisting of one control member and four breeding perturbation initial condition pairs. Predictions to 48 hours are run twice per day and are plotted at:

Verification of HREF and SREF predictions are available here:

Final corrections were made to NCEP ensemble wind variance products used by HPAC/SCIPUFF to assess plume uncertainties.  These outputs were made available to Titan and NCAR for inclusion on the MDS and use by HPAC.  In June, these experimental outputs were added to the NCEP dedicated TLS communications line and are now available on the MDS.  Four times per day predictions to 84 hours of several meteorological uncertainty fields including wind variance and covariance are plotted here:

Boundary Layer Verification (Marina Tsidulko)

The NCEP Forecast Verification System (FVS) was extended to evaluate PBL heights from predictions from the WRF-NMM Mellor-Yamada-Janjic (MYJ) TKE parameterization. Additional algorithms relying on critical Richardson number were added to WRF to estimate PBL height. These additional algorithms were also evaluated using the FVS and agreement with radiosondes and profilers was improved. Real-time North American Model (NAM) forecasted PBL height verification statistics are found at :

Additional NCEP Products (Hui-ya Chuang, Binbin Zhou, Dusan Jovic)

The following model outputs were added to the DTRA Meteorological Data Server for use by HPAC:
  • 48 hour High Resolution Window WRF-NMM 4 km nests.  
  • Additional fields (W, PBL height, etc) added to NAM and GFS grids
  • SREF ensemble mean and spread files
  • SREF variance and covariance products
  • Native vertical coordinate WRF outputs now coupled with MEDOC converter for HPAC.

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