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Model Data

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Contents:

Introduction / Model Names

Some of the links on this page link to model data that meteorologists use to make forecasts. For official information, please consult official sources, such as an official agency responsible for forecasting tropical cyclones or the national weather service of your country for other weather information.

This page has individual sections for some of the global models that forecasters use. Within each section for a global model, we link to the main agency that provides that model data. There might be better sites to view that particular model on. Additional sites to view models on are either in the "Featured Model Sites" or "Other Model Sites" sections. Those sections contain model sites that contain multiple models. For sites in those sections, we list some of the models available on each particular site.

Some models are known by a variety of either informal names and/or abbreviations. This section covers some of the model names and abbreviations that you will see on this page and on some of the sites we link to.

Click here to toggle the list of model names and abbreviations on this page.
For information on most of the models released in the National Hurricane Center's (NHC) Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting (ATCF) system, see the section here on this page.

Featured Model Sites

This section features model sites that contain multiple models and/or have features that make the data easier to view. For simplicity, these sites are not included in the sections we have for some of the global models.

Global Forecast System (GFS) - NOAA - Global Model - Every 6 Hours

Example of GFS home page at NOAA/NWS' NCEP.
"The Global Forecast System (GFS) is a global numerical weather prediction system containing a global computer model and variational analysis run by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS)."

"The GFS is run four times a day, and produces forecasts for up to 16 days in advance. The forecast component uses the FV3 model with a resolution of ~13 km. In the vertical, the model is divided into 127 vertical layers. It produces forecast output every hour for the first 120 hours, then every 3 hours for days 5-16."

You can learn more about the GFS at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) here (where the quotes above come from) or from the Wikipedia article here.

In addition to the GFS, there is also an ensemble system called the Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS), previously known as the GFS Global Ensemble. "The Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) is a weather model created by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) that generates 21 separate forecasts (ensemble members) to address underlying uncertainties in the input data such limited coverage, instruments or observing systems biases, and the limitations of the model itself. GEFS quantifies these uncertainties by generating multiple forecasts, which in turn produce a range of potential outcomes based on differences or perturbations applied to the data after it has been incorporated into the model. Each forecast compensates for a different set of uncertainties." (quote from the page here) In September 2020, the ensemble system was expanded from 21 to 31 members. (see PDF file here)

European Model (Integrated Forecast System, IFS) - ECMWF - Global Model - Every 12 Hours

Example of ECMWF home page
The Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) is a global model developed at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). It is also referred to by some as the ECMWF model or the European model.

"The comprehensive Earth-system model developed at ECMWF in co-operation with Météo-France forms the basis for all our data assimilation and forecasting activities. All the main applications required are available through one computer software system called the Integrated Forecasting System (IFS)." (quote from the page here)

In addition to a high-resolution forecast (HRES), an ensemble forecast (ENS) is also available. (ECMWF Ensemble Prediction System [EPS]) "The atmosphere is chaotic, meaning that even small differences in its state can lead to very different weather patterns occurring several days later - this is sometimes referred to as the butterfly effect. To account for the chaotic nature of the atmosphere and the associated uncertainty in prediction, we run an ensemble of 51 forecasts simultaneously; the forecast using the best possible initial state plus 50 other forecasts with slight variations to the initial state. Our ensembles provide a probabilistic forecast which is an estimate of how predictable a particular weather situation is." (quote from the page here)

You can learn more about the IFS from the Wikipedia article here.

Canadian Model (Global Environmental Multiscale, GEM) - CMC / Environment Canada - Global Model - Every 12 Hours

Modelling home page at Environment Canada
Environment Canada's Global Environmental Multiscale (GEM) model is Canada's global model system. The model is sometimes referred to as the CMC which stands for Canadian Meteorological Center. You may also see MSC for Meteorological Service of Canada.

"Analysing and forecasting the weather, using numerical models, requires an impressive amount of computing and data processing power. The process which leads to the production of a forecast can be seen as an endless cycle of data ingestion and analysis. Twice a day, the analysis serves as the starting point upon which atmospheric numerical models base their predictions." (quote from the page here)

There are a variety of model names and acronyms that you might see on various sites for their model systems depending on if it is their deterministic or ensemble system and whether or not it is global or regional.

For deterministic prediction:
  • Global Deterministic Prediction System (GDPS) - About
    "The Global Deterministic Prediction System (GDPS) carries out physics calculations to arrive at deterministic predictions of atmospheric elements from the current day out to 10 days into the future. Atmospheric elements include temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, wind speed and direction, humidity and others. This product contains raw numerical results of these calculations. Geographical coverage is global. Data is available at horizontal resolutions of 25 km and 66 km. Data is available for 28 vertical levels. Predictions are performed twice a day." (quote from the page here)
  • Regional Deterministic Prediction System (RDPS) - About
    "The Regional Deterministic Prediction System (RDPS) carries out physics calculations to arrive at deterministic predictions of atmospheric elements from the current day out to 48 hours into the future. Atmospheric elements include temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, wind speed and direction, humidity and others. This product contains raw numerical results of these calculations. Geographical coverage includes Canada and the United States. Data is available at horizontal resolutions of 10 km. Data is available for 80 vertical levels. Predictions are performed four times a day." (quote from the page here)
  • High Resolution Deterministic Prediction System (HRDPS) - About
    "The High Resolution Deterministic Prediction System (HRDPS) carries out physics calculations to arrive at deterministic predictions of atmospheric elements from the current day out to 48 hours into the future. Atmospheric elements include temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, wind speed and direction, humidity and others. This product contains raw numerical results of these calculations. Geographical coverage of the system is most of Canada. Data is available over specific areas in the MSC Datamart and the whole coverage is available in the MSC GeoMet web services. Data is available at a horizontal resolution of 2.5 km. Data is available for 28 vertical levels. Predictions are performed up to four times a day." (quote from the page here)
For ensemble prediction:
  • Global Ensemble Prediction System (GEPS) - About
    "Global ensemble forecasts are made twice a day using the Canadian GEM model to generate potential weather scenarios up to 16 days. 20 'perturbed' weather forecasts are performed as well as an unperturbed 16-day control forecast. The 20 models have different physics parametrizations, data assimilation cycles and sets of perturbed observations." (quote from the page here)
  • Regional Ensemble Prediction System (REPS) - About
    "The Regional Ensemble Prediction System (REPS) carries out physics calculations to arrive at probabilistic predictions of atmospheric elements from the current day out to 3 days into the future. The probabilistic predictions are based on 20 ensemble members that are perturbed through their initial and boundary conditions as well as physical tendencies. A control member that is not perturbed is also available. Atmospheric elements include temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, wind speed and direction, humidity and others. This product contains raw numerical results of these calculations. Geographical coverage includes Canada and the United States. Data is available at a horizontal resolution of 15 km. Data is available for 48 vertical levels. Predictions are performed twice a day." (quote from the page here)
You can learn more about the GEM model from the Wikipedia article here.

United Kingdom Model (Unified Model, UM) - UK Met Office (UKMET / UKMO) - Global Model - Every 12 Hours for 6 Day Global Deterministic Forecast

Unified Model home page in the "Research programmes" area of Met Office's website
The global model for the United Kingdom is the Met Office's Unified Model (UM). The model might be abbreviated a variety of ways, including relating to the name of their country and meteorological service, such as UKMET or UKMO.

Note: While Met Office has short term forecast maps on their site here for the UK and weather forecasts for cities around the world, it doesn't seem to have easily viewable data from their Unified Model on their own website. As of updating this section in August 2021, you can access raw data from Amazon Web Services here or get 1GB of data every month for free of "Atmospheric model data" here. To view this model, view some of the other sites on our page that have data from the Unified Model.

"The Unified Model (UM) is a numerical model of the atmosphere used for both weather and climate applications." "Seamless modelling, whereby a single model family can be used for prediction across a range of timescales, has been at the heart of the Met Office strategy for weather and climate prediction since 1990. The Unified Model applies this seamless modelling approach, which means that the same dynamical core and, where possible, the same parameterization schemes are used across a broad range of spatial and temporal scales on a traceable frame work. The model is suitable for numerical weather prediction (NWP), seasonal forecasting and climate modelling with forecast times ranging from a few days to hundreds of years. Furthermore, the Unified Model can be used both as a global and a regional model." (quotes from the Unified Model home page in the "Research programmes" area of Met Office's website)

There are global and regional configurations of the Unified Model for deterministic and ensemble forecasts. Their "Numerical weather prediction models" page in the "Research programmes" area of their website contains information about each of the models. They also have additional information about what the models seem to be called on the UK Met Office page at Amazon Web Services which has information about how the raw model data can be downloaded. It also has a list of parameters for each model.

On this page we refer to the global deterministic model as "Unified Model / Global Atmospheric" (many sites may call it either UKMET or UKMO) and the UK version as "UK Atmospheric". For the ensemble, we use "MOGREPS-G" for global ensemble and "MOGREPS-UK" for UK ensemble.

For deterministic prediction:
  • Met Office Global Atmospheric Hi-Res Model - Deterministic
  • Met Office UK Atmospheric Hi-Res Model (UKV) - Deterministic
For ensemble prediction:
  • Met Office Global and Regional Ensemble Prediction System - Global (MOGREPS-G)
  • Met Office Global and Regional Ensemble Prediction System - UK (MOGREPS-UK)
You can learn more about the Unified Model from the Wikipedia article here.

Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM) - U.S. Navy - Global Model - Every 12 Hours

U.S. Navy's Global & Regional Weather and Wave Prediction Charts home page
The Navy Global Environmental Model (NAVGEM) is run by the U.S. Navy's Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC).

This model replaced the NOGAPS (Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System) model in early 2013.

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Page last modified on September 12, 2022