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Antarctic Weather Prediction
Activities— USA
Dr. Jordan G. Powers
Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division
NCAR Earth System Laboratory
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Boulder, CO
WMO THORPEX Polar Prediction Workshop
Oslo, Norway
October 6, 2010
Polar Numerical Weather Prediction— United States
• Arctic and Antarctic Regions
• NWP Operations
– NCEP (National Centers for Environmental Prediction)
▪ GFS: Global Forecasting System
T574 (27 km)
8-d forecasts
▪ Arctic latitudes
 NAM: North American Mesoscale model
12-km grid
4-day forecasts
Alaska Hi-Res Window (HRW): 5-km
WRF-ARW
Polar Numerical Prediction— US
• NWP Operations (cont’d)
– High–latitude NAM and Hi-Res Windows (HRW)
Alaska HRW
NAM
Polar Numerical Prediction— US
• NWP Operations (cont’d)
– U.S. Air Force Weather Agency
▪ Arctic and Antarctic mesoscale forecasting: WRF
▪ Forecast distribution restricted
– U.S. Navy
▪ NOGAPS:
Navy
Operational
Global
Atmospheric
Prediction
System
▪ Limited public
products
available
(unclassified)
NOGAPS 300 hPa height, winds: 24-h fcst
24 Sept 2010 1200 UTC init
Polar Numerical Prediction— US
• NWP Operations (cont’d)
– AMPS: Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System
▪ Forecasts for Antarctica and high southern latitudes
▪ Forecasts for
 U.S. Antarctic Program forecasters (primary)
 Researchers, international users (secondary)
Polar Numerical Prediction— United States
• NWP Operations (cont’d)
– AMPS: The Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System
▪ Real-time NWP system to support Antarctic forecasting
and science
▪ Forecasts for Antarctica and high southern latitudes
▪ Sponsor: National Science Foundation,
Office of Polar Programs
▪ Collaborators
NCAR
The Ohio State University
Univ. of Colorado
The Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS)
• History
– Antarctic Weather Forecasting Workshop (2000)
(Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio State Univ.)
– Recognized weaknesses in Antarctic NWP
▪ Inadequate horizontal resolutions for capturing
mesoscale features
▪ Inadequate representation of physical properties
unique to Antarctic troposphere and PBL
▪ Poor representation of Antarctic topography
– Recommendation: Need for a robust, high-resolution
NWP system tailored to the needs of the
forecasters at McMurdo
The Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS)
• AMPS Users / Applications
– Primary: USAP Forecasters: Space and Naval
Warfare Systems Center (SPAWAR)
– Researchers and graduate students
– Support for international on-Ice activities
– Scientific field experiments
Examples:
 LARISSA campaign (2010)
(Larsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica)
 MaudNESS study (2005; R/V cruises)
(Dronning Maud Land Nonlinear Equation of
State System)
 GLOBEC Study
(Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics)
AMPS Model: WRF
– Weather Research and Forecasting Model
15 km
5 km
– “Polar WRF”: WRF w/modifications for
polar regions
McMurdo
5 km
Forecast Domains: 45-/15-/5-/1.67-km
45 km
●
5 km
Christchurch
15 km
1.67 km
McMurdo Station
●
Ross Is.
●
South Pole
McMurdo
AMPS Forecasts
• Vertical configuration
– 44 η-levels
– 10 mb top
• Frequency
– 2 forecasts / day
– 0000 UTC, 1200 UTC initializations
• Lengths
– 45-km, 15-km grids: 120 hr
– 5-km, 1.67-km grids: 36 hr
• First-guess/BCs: GFS
Model Enhancements
 Antarctic topo: 200-m RAMP2 dataset
(Radarsat Antarctic Mapping Project)
 Cycled soil temperatures
 Dry Valleys land use
1.7-km Grid Land Use
(brown=bare ground)
RAMP2 – USGS
terrain hgts (m)
USGS map: Ross Is., Dry Valleys
Data Assimilation
 WRFDA (3DVAR) system: 45- and 15-km grids
 Assimilated observations include
 Conventional obs (radiosonde, AWS, ship, buoy, aircraft,
METAR)
 Satellite (e.g., SATOB, GEO & MODIS AMV, QuikSCAT, AMSU-A rads)
 GPS RO (refractivity— COSMIC)
Soundings
Selected Obs: 0000 UTC 20 Sept 2009
COSMIC
AMPS: Computer Platform
• Location: NCAR
• IBM Power 6 architecture
• 3 32-processor Nodes
96 CPUs
4.7 Ghz processors
• Wallclock time/fcst
4.5 hr
• Funding: National
Science Foundation
AMPS— Antarctic Air Support
New York Air National Guard
LC-130
Ice Runway, McMurdo
62nd Airlift Wing C-17
Ice Runway, McMurdo
AMPS provides numerical guidance for SPAWAR forecasting for
the USAF, NYANG, Royal New Zealand AF, and other on-Ice air
ops (e.g., helicopters, Twin Otters).
AMPS: International Support
 Italy
 Australia
 UK
SA Agulhas (South Africa)
 Germany
(background)
 South Africa
RV Polarstern (Germany)
 Chile
(foreground)
 China
 New Zealand
 DROMLAN Group—
Dronning Maud Land Air
Network
Germany, Russia, India,
Japan, Norway,
Sweden, Finland,
Belgium, UK,
South Africa
AMPS Display Page
Fcst hr
Forecast Grid
Model Run
Product Chooser
Run Status
Site: www.mmm.ucar.edu/rt/amps
AMPS
Forecast
Products
SLP
3-h Precip
17 Sept 2010
1200 UTC init
Fcst period:
12 UTC 17 Sept–
12 UTC 22 Sept
AMPS
Forecast
Products
Meteogram–
South Pole
17 Sept 2010
1200 UTC init
Fcst period:
12 UTC 17 Sept–
00 UTC 19 Sept
AMPS Forecast Products
NZSP South Pole (lat, lon) = (-90.00, 0.00)
Forecast initialized at 2010091712
AMPS 5-km SP domain
FCST UTC T
HR
00
01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
HR
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
00
Tcorr Td
(C) (C)
-63.9
-61.2
-57.3
-54.7
-52.9
-47.8
-45.6
-44.8
-44.3
-43.9
-43.2
-42.9
-42.8
-63.7
-62.1
-58.6
-56.0
-54.0
-49.0
-47.1
-46.0
-45.6
-45.1
-44.3
-44.1
-44.1
Table– South Pole
Altim Spd Dir Grid VVV RH1RH2RH3 T1T2T3 ACCUM
(C)
(in.)
-51.5
-65.9
-61.8
-59.2
-57.4
-52.1
-49.8
-48.9
-48.5
-47.9
-47.2
-46.9
-46.9
28.42
28.41
28.38
28.41
28.39
28.34
28.35
28.32
28.34
28.36
28.33
28.36
28.38
(kts) (°)
(°)
(% wrt water)
(C)
11 41 41 -007 469078069 M53M42M39 000
12 104 104 -008 054065068 M50M43M39 002
15 91 91 -010 056066069 M48M41M38 002
15 82 82 -010 057066069 M46M40M37 002
12 72 72 -006 058066069 M45M40M37 002
13 39 39 -003 061066069 M44M40M37 003
16 23 23 -004 063067069 M43M39M37 003
17 21 21 -005 063068069 M41M37M36 003
17 22 22 -006 063068069 M41M37M36 002
17 22 22 -006 064068069 M40M37M36 002
18 19 19 -006 064068068 M40M37M36 002
17 18 18 -006 064068068 M40M38M37 002
17 15 15 -005 064068068 M40M38M37 002
* NOTES on units:
VVV (vertical velocity) in tenths of a microbar per second at 700 hPa (positive– upward motion)
ACCUM (accumulated precipitation, past 1h) is given as hundreths of a millimeter;
RH1, RH2, and RH3 are the % RH at the surface, 1000', and 3000', respectively;
T1, T2, and T3 are the temperatures at 500', 1000', and 1500', respectively.
AMPS Archive
• AMPS Forecasts Stored
– NCAR Mass Storage System
– MM5 and WRF forecast output
 Native model format
 GRIB subsets of output (Oct. 2008)
▪ Select fields (e.g., u, v, T, GHT)
▪ Mandatory and some selected levels
– Forecast plots (Oct. 2008)
• Applications
– Model verification and forecast review
– Case and process studies
– Site and region climatologies
Information:
www.mmm.ucar.edu/rt/wrf/amps/information/archive_info.html
Summary
• US Polar NWP:
– Military: Arctic & Antarctic— Restricted access
– Civilian: Arctic— NCEP
Antarctic— NSF: AMPS Group
• AMPS: Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System
– Real-time NWP guidance: WRF model
– Support to:
 USAP weather operations
 Research
 Field campaigns
 International community
 Emergency operations
– Funding: U.S. National Science Foundation Office
of Polar Programs
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