Posted Sunday 12/17 @ 10:13 AM — The latest RRFS development page now has the model being operational in 2025 instead of Fall 2024. Current version is 0.7.7. Updates here.
Posted November 18, 2023
NOAA has been developing a new model, the RRFS (“Rapid Refresh Forecast System“) which will be the beginning of a major advance in high resolution weather forecasting. The model will run hourly forecasts to 18 hours, will have a high (3 km) resolution, and its 00z, 06z, 12z, and 18z forecasts will extend out to 60 hours. It will also have an statistical ensemble component version and a “smoke” forecast version.
Its development was begun in 2016-2017 and early experimental versions have been posted online starting 2021.
The RRFS is going through a series of continued experimentation, testing and fine tuning and the groundwork is being laid for it to be operational sometime around September 2024.
Some of the current ongoing development information is being logged here. When released, it will be RRFS version 1.0, but as of this posting (Nov 2023) , it’s only at version 0.7.3 and is being referred to as “RRFS-A“.
My long-standing mantra when it comes to snowstorms, “Never Ignore the NAM”, will become a relic of the past.
I’ve always felt there are “too many models” and it appears that the RRFS is incorporating and building on all of the best approaches to numerical weather modeling that have been learned from these earlier models.
NOAA/NWS has been making the development version and their testbed variants available on a NOAA- Amazon Web Services site (AWS) for since 2021.
In recent weeks, I’ve been experimenting with downloading these RRFS runs. The experimental version is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) NOAA-Open Data and has certain constraints that the main NOAA NOMADS site doesn’t have, along with different directory structures (buckets). Nonetheless, I hope to be downloading and using the RRFS model in some forecasts soon.
The release of RRFS version 1 will truly be a big deal.
For those of you that wish to explore more, here are some excellent web links related to the RRFS—