Today, with its morning model run, the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) will have upgraded the GFS model (version 14) to the new and improved FV3-GFS (GFS version 15.1.1). The FV3-GFS becomes the main global model of the National Weather Service today.
The FV3-GFS (Finite Volume Cubed Sphere) has been in development for well over 10 years and has been in testing for the past three. It uses a different three dimensional geometry to reduce errors inherent in all numeric weather models. It includes different modeling physics and new parameters. Significant information on the FV3-GFS can be found here. Background information is here.
The model data has been available on university web sites in a very limited fashion for awhile. Over the past two weeks, the NCEP made the data available on the main weather model download server, “NOMADS”.
The FV3-GFS has been heavily evaluated and is considered “equal or better” than the current GFS.