The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Monday it will be upgrading its Global Forecast System, one of the primary computer models used to predict weather across North America and the world.
The update went live early Monday and is designed to predict more accurate forecasts as far out as two weeks into the future. NOAA says the update will lead to better predictions of hurricanes and other extreme weather events, ocean waves, and weather systems up high in the atmosphere.
“This substantial upgrade to the GFS, along with ongoing upgrades to our supercomputing capacity, demonstrates our commitment to advancing weather forecasting to fulfill our mission of protecting life and property,” said Louis Uccellini, director of NOAA’s National Wether Service, in a media teleconference Monday.
The upgrade focuses on underlying physics and adjusts how current weather information is inputted and processed by the model while integrating other sources of data from satellites and ordinary aircraft.
The Global Forecasting System will now be combined with a global wave model called WaveWatch III, which will extend current wave forecasts to 16 days and improve predictions of ocean waves forced by the atmosphere.
“These upgrades are part of the Next Generation Global Prediction System within the Unified Forecast System (UFS) framework, which is an ongoing effort to leverage the expertise of the broader weather community and expedite the research to operations pathway,” said Vijay Tallapragada, chief of the Modeling and Data Assimilation Branch at NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center (EMC).