It’s All Interconnected

In order to forecast the weather, I look at lots of data. Some of it is observational – in other words, what is being seen at any given time. Other data sets are based on computer models and predict the future.

These models have convoluted names but are referrred to by screwier acronyms. I have to know them because they’re my stock in trade. No one else carews about the Eta or GFS or MM5.

A few months ago, the National Center for Environmental Prediction decided they needed to change the names of a few of these models. I’ve read their reasoning, though I’m still not sure I understand it.

Hey, it’s their models. What they name them is up to them.

Today the changes went into effect. Most of my data sources dried up! The meteograms I produce on this website stopped being produced. BUFKIT, a nifty model analysis program stopped getting its data. My friend Bob’s website lost contact with the mothership too.

It looked like no one (myself included) used the prep time to be ready for what was coming. I don’t remember when I first heard about these changes, but it was a significantly long time ago. There’s really no excuse.

I was still able to get the data, but not in the ways I’m used to, and certainly not with the ease I’m used to.

By tomorrow… or Thursday… or next week this will all be cleared up. Except for people who stumble upon this blog entry in my archives, no one will remember. But I want to go on record as saying, “what a pain.”

One thought on “It’s All Interconnected”

  1. Geoff – – This post in WX-TALK sheds a little light on what happened. I will paste it in below.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    From: “Geoff DiMego”

    It seems that people have no idea why we are changing names.

    This was not made clear in the notice and many people are seeing it as frivolous and a colossal waste of time and effort.

    The name has to be changed because we will soon swap out the Eta Model and its 3DVAR analysis / Eta Data Assimilation System (EDAS) and replace them with the Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF)

    versions: NCEP’s Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model (NMM) and a new Gridpoint Statistical Interpolation (GSI) analysis.

    WRF is already running in NCEP’s Production Suite in the HiResWindow slot. A briefing package can be found at:

    WRF, in various flavors, will be running in several other slots in the future (Eta, DGEX, RUC, Fire Weather/IMET Support, Homeland Security, Hurricane, SREF & Air Quality). We can’t have run slots named after the model that is running in them anymore because then all those slots would be WRF. Therefore, we have chosen to re-name the Eta slots to eliminate the association with a particular model.

    Speaking of the replacement of Eta, now NAM, by WRF-NMM — we had been planning on doing that in late September 2005. We have now targeted that replacement to occur in late March 2006. This difficult decision was made as a result of three factors: a) delayed delivery & acceptance of NCEP’s new computer upgrade (which has caused a backlog of implementations to build up); b) new and still evolving consequences of the recent decision to put 50% of our computer system at the Fairmont WV site and c) the complex and intricate nature of the new WRF system which has added to our planned development time.

    John Kent

    Albany, NY

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