GFS Upgrade v16 Scheduled for March 17th


** GFS Upgrade has been completed **

NCEP/NOAA is scheduling the GFS to be upgraded on/about March 17th.   We do not expect any significant issues migrating from the current operational version to the new version, however there  may be some delays or minor issues during the changeover.

The new version of the GFS provides higher vertical resolution with more layers added above the tropopause, the horizontal resolution remains the same.  Numerous changes have been made which will cause the GFS output being about 20 minutes slower than the current operational version, while consuming about 4x the amount of supercomputing processing power.

Having reviewed the statistical skill scores of the GFSv16  there is very slight improvement, but there were some negatives, such a significant right bias in tropical cyclone tracks and a much lower CAPE value then the previous GFS, which was already negatively biased.

So be aware of these items when using the new GFS.  CAPE values will tend to be suppressed, which will make other severe convective parameters appear less intense (SCP,STP,EHI) and Tropical cyclones forecast skill was not improved ( GFS v16 to GFS v15), as noted in the active 2020 season.

Here is the GFSv16 Evaluation Page:
Here is the Service Change Notice:

NOAA Operational Model Data System Offline


NOAA Operational Model Distribution System (NOMADS) system continues to suffer failure after failure.  It is offline and we have received no communications about its condition.   For the past week it has been either offline entirely or unstable. Much of this year it’s been unstable with numerous planned and unplanned outages or periods with missing data, connection timeouts.  It has become unreliable. For a NOAA operational supported system to distribute real-time NOAA model data, we find it unacceptable.

We have architected much of our model data processing based on the NOMADS system, with the expectation it would be operationally supported by NOAA, as it provides faster model data retrieval than by other methods.

With the on-going problem with NOAA’s NOMADS system there will be continued issues with some of the model products.

We will be in touch with NOAA official’s about their commitment of NOMADS & model data availability to the weather enterprise.

** NOAA Planning Data Distribution Outage for 1/21/21- 1/22/21 **

NOAA is taking down its primary data distribution site for a power upgrade from 1-21-2021-1-22-2022.  This will impact some of the model graphics/analytic creation on Wright Weather. We utilize the NOMADS for a good deal of our model data sourcing.  During this outage there will be an interruption of some graphics/analytics we deliver.

Here is the message from NOAA.


Update: 1/22 15Z   Outage continues.  NOAA planned a 19 hour outage, but 24+ hours in the outage continues. Latest message indicates that it will be up later today.  Expect next run of the GFS available will be the 18Z.

Update: 1/23 18Z  NCEP has restored most of the NOMADS system but there are some missing data and is still not fully functional, so some updates on Wright Weather will will be delayed or missing until NCEP has their site completely restored.


Day of Week Issue on Some Model Maps

The day of the week stopped appearing in some of the model maps starting on 1/1/2021 due to an issue with GRIB.  We are working on implementing a fix to this unexpected problem.  Some maps will display a “???” for the day of the week for until the bug fix is implemented. It may be a few weeks until the code is tested and implemented.

NCEP Server Down Once Again Causing Model Interruptions

NCEP once again, has encountered system problems and stopped dissemination of model data through the primary external model data interfaces we rely on (NOMADS).   This is the longest outage to date, that has continued since Thursday of last week.  They stopped working on it over the weekend (So much for 24/7 support for the weather community).

Will try to find a work around if they can’t find a fix a today but all of our code has been developed to work with the NOMADS system.

NCEP Model Update Delays

NOAA/NCEP servers which we rely on for our model data have been either completely out of service or only partially working for the past 30 hours.  NOAA/NCEP is working on the issue. No estimated time of full restoration has been given.   Until they resolve the data flow issues, we will continue to have missing or delayed model data.

Significant Hail Parameter Added to NAM

Added the Significant Hail Parameter to the NAM-12km model.  SHIP is similar to the STP & SCP. Values above 1.0 are correlated with large hail events.  Here is more info on this product.


National NAM Significant Hail Parameter Loops