A strategic initiative to fundamentally advance the nation's computer weather prediction system and improve forecast models used by National Weather Service, Air Force and Navy meteorologists, mission planners, and decision makers.


NUOPC (National Unified Operational Prediction Capability) is an agreement to coordinate activities between the Department of Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the Department of Defense (Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and Air Force Directorate of Weather), in order to accelerate the transition of new technology, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and achieve a superior National global prediction capability.

The NUOPC partners determined that the Nation’s global atmospheric modeling capability can be advanced more effectively and efficiently with their mutual cooperation to provide a common infrastructure to perform and support their individual missions.

The NUOPC Tri-Agency (NOAA, Navy, Air Force) agreed to work on a collaborative vision through coordinated research, transition and operations in order to develop and implement the next-generation National Operational Global Ensemble modeling system. This NUOPC plan consists of the following elements:

  1. A National operational numerical weather prediction system with a commitment to address common requirements
  2. A multi-component system with interoperable components built upon common standards and a common framework
  3. Managed ensemble diversity to quantify and bound forecast uncertainty
  4. Ensemble products used to drive high-resolution regional/local prediction and other downstream models
  5. A National research agenda for global numerical weather prediction to accelerate development and transition to operations
  6. Increased leverage of partner agencies to avoid independent/duplicative operating costs


A Unified Ensemble Operations (UEO) agreement was established on 22 July, 2011 to promote a framework to manage the National Unified Ensemble (NUE).  The UEO agreement established the requirement for a UEO Committee, along with the associated roles and responsibilities of the committee.  Assigned responsibilities for the UEO Committee include the development of a UEO operational management plan to provide oversight of normal, ongoing NUE operations.  The UEO Operational Management Plan (UEO Plan) was completed in October 2012.  In accordance with the guidance of the NUOPC UEO agreement and the recommendations of the Final Report of the Interim UEO Committee, the UEO Committee will track and coordinate, as appropriate, the milestone activities included in Annex I of the UEO Plan.

ESMF public release v6.3.0r is now available from the ESMF website, http://www.earthsystemmodeling.org. It is the default download on the website, under the "Download" tab. This release also includes a reference version of the National Unified Operational Prediction Capability (NUOPC) Layer, a set of conventions and templates that increases the interoperability of ESMF-based modeling systems. Highlights of v6.3.0r relative to the last public release (ESMF v5.2.0r) include enhanced regridding capabilities, new component-level features such as fault-tolerance, and more complete exchange grid interfaces. The ESMF v6.3.0r release concludes a development cycle that was focused on supporting advanced capabilities for a wide variety of applications in modeling and data services. ESMF can be used in multiple ways: 1) to create high-performance, interoperable component-based modeling systems; 2) as a source of data communication, time management, metadata handling, and other libraries; 3) as a fast, parallel generator of interpolation weights from file for many different grids.

To optimize ensemble product use and development, annual NUOPC Users Surveys are distributed to partnering agencies (NOAA, Navy, and Air Force) Operations Heads and Forecasters.  An initial survey was distributed In February 2012, results were analyzed, and a baseline was set for tracking progress of how the tri-agency forecasting community is implementing and improving ensemble use (and to measure the influence of NUOPC activities).  The 2nd annual survey was completed in early 2013, and the results will build on the data collected in 2012 to allow NUOPC to better understand the use and impact of ensembles.

Committee Progress - The Common Model Architecture (CMA) committee is continuing development of future model architecture and software standards.

The NUOPC/ESPC Executive Steering Group (ESG) met on February 4, 2014 to receive status updates on the NUOPC and ESPC projects. A combined NUOPC/ESPC brief, with five-year accomplishments and short-term goals, was presented, along with the NOAA Operational Modeling strategy and the Navy 10-year Operational Modeling roadmap. The ESG approved combining NUOPC and ESPC into a National ESPC project, and having the staffs integrate for support to the combined effort, ,and creating a new committee within National ESPC to develop an Integrated Modeling Systems roadmap of the multi-agency National operational capability for consistent Earth system prediction across forecast time scales.

Upcoming Events

NUOPC will participate in the 6th NCEP/NWS Ensemble Users Workshop, 25-27 March in College Park, MD at the National Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP).  This meeting will bring together experts and users involved in the generation and use of NCEP ensemble forecast information to review progress since the last meeting in May 2011, and to discuss plans.  NUOPC will lead a session to discuss current ensemble use and training, and discuss ways to improve training and gain more value from current ensemble products. 

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Page last modified : March 14, 2014


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