Data Assimilation and Modeling

The scientists at Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER) are experts in weather prediction through the use of numerical weather models. Our experts contribute to the overall improvement of weather prediction and understanding of atmospheric chemistry processes through improved models and better use of data, especially data from satellite remote sensors.

Our experts at AER have experience in a wide range of numerical weather prediction (NWP) models and projects, from basic research to development of real-time information services. Because of our expertise and experience, private and public clients from around the world come to us for a variety of needs, including on-site, customized consulting services for particular atmospheric modeling needs. The majority of our staff members holds advanced degrees and is skilled in a broad range of computer programming, software engineering, and project management disciplines.

NWP models that we have experience with include (but are not limited to):

  • Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF)
    • North American Mesoscale Model (NAM)
    • Hurricane WRF (HWRF)
    • Advanced Research WRF (ARW)
    • Advanced Hurricane WRF (AHW)
    • WRF model couple with Chemistry (WRF-Chem)
  • Global Forecast System (GFS)
  • Fifth-Generation NCAR / Penn State Mesoscale Model (MM5)
  • European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
  • Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) – including BRAMS
  • Rapid Update Cycle (RUC)
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL)
  • Couple Ocean / Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS)
  • High Resolution Limited Area Model (HIRLAM)

Areas of expertise:

  • Mesoscale model development
    • AER has extensive experience in developing and applying mesoscale modeling and data assimilation codes, for applications ranging from air quality modeling and weather modification research, to operational real-time weather forecasting.
    • AER is currently collaborating with NCAR on the development of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) components of a four-dimensional variational analysis (4D-Var) data assimilation system for the Air Force Weather Agency (AFWA).
    • As part of a DOE-funded project, AER has implemented and is evaluating its improved shortwave and longwave RRTMG radiation package (Iacono et al., 2008) in the WRF model (Iacono and Nehrkorn, 2010; Iacono et al. 2009). RRTMG is also used in the NCEP Global Forecast System (GFS) and Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) models and in the ECMWF Integrated Forecast System weather forecast model (Morcrette et al., 2008).
    • Development of the 5th Generation NCAR / Penn State Mesoscale Model (MM5) adjoint (Ruggiero et al. 2006)
  • Real-time Applications of Weather Modeling
    • NOAA-University of New Hampshire (UNH) Joint Center for Ocean Observing Technology (JCOOT) - Real-time application of WRF supporting research and operational forecast applications for the New England region (Henderson et al. 2006)
    • 2004 Athens Olympic Games - AER developed and installed a weather nowcasting system for the Hellenic National Meteorological Service. (Henderson et al. 2005)
    • AER has provided on-site operational NWP services to the Thai Meteorological Department to support forecasting operations.
  • Carbon-budget and trace-gas modeling
    • Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate (SPARC) - AER is responsible for assessment of stratospheric aerosol properties.
    • NASA Global Modeling Initiative (GMI) - AER developed aerosol models for 3-D chemistry and transport models.
    • NASA Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP) - AER is involved in issues related to chemistry data assimilation. Extensive multi-year set of high-resolution WRF runs over North America for carbon budget estimates (Michalak et al. 2007).
    • NASA Science Mission Directorate - AER estimated the carbon budget for North America using satellite and in situ data.
    • University of Michigan – AER studied high-resolution wind fields for constraining North American fluxes of carbon dioxide in a geostatistical inverse modeling framework.
  • Data assimilation
    • Global Weather Control - AER conducted futuristic numerical assessments of the possibility of controlling weather systems (Hoffman 2002).
    • Application of the MM5 adjoint for weather modification (Hoffman et al. 2006)
    • MM5 4D-Var - AER played a key role in the development of a 4D-Var application for distributed memory computer architectures using MM5.
    • AER assisted AFWA in the development of a unified 3D-Var and 4D-Var architecture, and was also involved in the transition to and the optimization of WRF for AFRL operational uses.
    • Microwave Profiler Data Assimilation - AER used variational methods to assimilate ground-based microwave profiler data into a mesoscale model.
    • AER supported advanced data assimilation for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) High Energy Laser (HEL) program
    • Feature Calibration and Alignment (FCA) - AER is developing a method to use FCA to correct for systematic feature displacement errors in the Air Force Weather Agency’s next-generation version of the WRF variational analysis system.
  • Homeland Defense
    • Homeland Defense – AER researchers characterized mesoscale weather prediction errors for dispersion modeling in support of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).
    • Modeling & Simulation – AER supports military training by processing NWP data into simulated at-the-sensor satellite image (multi-channel IR, visible, water vapor), METAR observation and TAF forecast messages, Google Earth overlays (in vector form), and atmospheric effects of military systems (IR weapons, Comms, Mobility) among other products.
  • Scatterometer
    • SeaWind Scatterometer - AER scientists are longstanding members of the NASA scatterometer teams, currently named the Ocean Vector Wind Science Team (OVWST).