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NGGPS is evolving into a Unified Forecast System (UFS) through the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP)

Current Activities

Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) 

The National Weather Service is designing, developing, and implementing a global prediction system to address growing service demands, and increase the accuracy of weather forecasts out to 30 days. The work is expanding critical weather forecasting research to operation (R2O) through accelerated development and implementation of current global weather prediction models, improved data assimilation techniques, software architecture and system engineering. Contributions from a wide sector of the numerical weather prediction community including NCEP, NOAA and other agency laboratories and universities, are being incorporated into an operational system to deliver a Next Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS) that meets the evolving national prediction requirements. 

  • The Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) (FY19-21) is a multi-year implementation plan which documents EMC and the community's effort, working together, to evolve the Next Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS) towards a national unified Earth system modeling system for operations and research, Unified Forecast System (UFS) to the mutual benefit of both. The FY18-20 SIP is here.
  • SIP Governance Model
  • SIP Communications and Outreach Plan
  • Teams comprised of subject matter experts across NOAA line offices/laboratories, Navy, NASA, UCAR, and Universities, provide input on the direction of the SIP plans, which build off of the original NGGPS Team Plans.  The current SIP/NGGPS Teams and members are listed here.  
  • The EMC Implementation Plan (IP) for FY 2018 - FY 2020 describes the major development and implementation projects planned for EMC over this time frame, and how those fit within the broader NOAA Strategic Vision and Roadmap for modeling (under development), as well as how EMC projects link with other model-related projects internally within NOAA and with the broader U.S. modeling community, including the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) to the Next Generation Global Prediction System. 

Recent Releases  

Public Release of the Common Community Physics Package (CCPP) v3.0

he Common Community Physics Package (CCPP) v3.0 was publicly released on June 17, 2019. The CCPP contains a library of physical parameterizations (CCPP-Physics), and the framework that connects it to host models (CCPP-Framework). In this release, the CCPP has been bundled with the Global Model Test bed (GMTB) Single Column Model (SCM) v3.0.

The CCPP-Physics is envisioned to contain parameterizations used by NOAA operational models for weather through seasonal prediction timescales, as well as developmental schemes under consideration for upcoming operational implementations. This version contains all parameterizations of the current operational GFS v15 (implemented on June 12, 2019), plus additional developmental schemes. The schemes are grouped in four supported suites described in detail in the CCPP Scientific Documentation (GFS_v15, GFS_v15plus, csawmg, and GSD_v0). The Zhao-Carr microphysics and the GFS_v14 suite are no longer supported.

Five experimental cases are available for use with the GMTB SCM: BOMEX maritime shallow convection, LASSO continental shallow convection, ASTEX stratocumulus-to-cumulus transition, ARM SGP Summer 1997 continental deep convection, and TWP-ICE maritime deep convection. For access to the code and data, please visit the CCPP website at, where you will find a Users’ Guide, a list of known issues, frequently-asked questions, Technical Documentation, and Scientific Documentation.

Questions and comments can be directed to

FV3GFS Version 1 Public Release

NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) is pleased to announce the Version 1 Release of the NEMS FV3GFS Modeling System to the community through (public version) and NOAA Virtual Lab (developers version). FV3GFS Version 1 is potentially scheduled to replace the Global Spectral Model (GSM) currently in operations at NCEP by December 2019. This Version 1 is a significant enhancement to the Version 0 Community Release of the FV3GFS on May 15, 2017. In the past year, significant advancements were made to the FV3GFS as a community model. This release allows community users to gain access to the latest version of FV3GFS modeling system through public repository on, and run forecast experiments with pre-processing and post-processing tools.

Highlights of this release are:

(1) The FV3GFS model source code, which contains NEMS infrastructure, FV3 NUOPC layer (a.k.a. FV3CAP), FV3 dynamical core, Interoperable Physics Driver (IPD version 4), and the latest operational GFS physics in addition to newly included GFDL Microphysics. Extensive inline code documentation for the Dynamic Core, GFS Physics, and IPD are included with this release along with technical and scientific documentation of the model and user guides.

(2) The modeling system comes with an umbrella build capability currently supported on NOAA operational and research supercomputers WCOSS, Theia, Jet, and Gaea; with pre-installed libraries and utilities.

(3) The model can run at three different resolutions: C192 (~50km), C384 (25km), C768 (~13km) and canned initial conditions and fixed fields are provided to run three selected cases (Atmospheric River case from February 2016; Hurricane Harvey form August 2017; and recent Noreaster Case from February 2018). In addition, the pre-processing software can be used to generate initial conditions of choice using operational GFS analysis data.

(4) The workflow components include basic capabilities of Community Research and Operations Workflow (CROW) front-end, and rocoto workflow manager, utilizing simple shell scripts and configuration files for running forecast-only experiments for selected and user-defined cases.

(5) The Post Processing tools include NCEP Unified Post Processing (UPP) software that generates global gridded output in Grib2 format (native resolution Gaussian grid as well as 0.5 degree lat/lon grid). (6) Several utilities to change the resolution of initial conditions and various NEMS utilities are also provided with this release.

Directions for accessing the public release, details on the contents of the release, and additional information about the NEMS FV3GFS can be viewed in the Virtual Lab community at the link

FV3GFS Official Evaluation

A lot of information about the model and implementation timeline, as well as links to get data, see statistics, and view forecast images is available at the FV3GFS Official Evaluation Website, which is linked here.

Pending a successful validation, the preliminary timeline calls for the FV3GFS to replace the operational GFS at the end of the 2018 calendar year. The purpose of this upgrade is to confirm that the FV3 core can successfully replace the spectral model core in operations. The Zhao-Carr microphysics are being replaced by the GFDL microphysics in the FV3GFS, but most of the GFS physics will be retained in this package. Getting the FV3 core into operations will pave the way for a GFS upgrade in 2020 that will feature advanced physics and higher resolution. This is a major initial step in the unification (and eventual simplification) of the NCEP Production Suite around the FV3 core.


NGGPS Dynamical Core Evaluation was the first step in developing a new weather prediction model

In August 2014, modelers attended a workshop to discuss ideal dynamical core requirements/attributes for the NGGPS. Over the following two years, NOAA evaluated candidate non-hydrostatic dynamical cores with a battery of tests to culminate in the selection of a new dynamical core for the Next-Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS). Details of the evaluation can be found on the NGGPS Dynamical Core Evaluation page.  Atmospheric Prediction - Dynamics