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Weather Models on Parallel Computers

Weather Research and Forecast Model (WRF)

This is a multi-institution effort to develop a next-generation national weather forecast model.

Parallel PSU/NCAR Mesoscale Model Generation 5 (MM5)

We are developing the parallel algorithms and methods required to execute mesoscale weather models on massively parallel computers. This work is performed in collaboration with researchers in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology (MMM) Division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). This work is supported in part by the U.S. Air Force Weather Agency .

News and Publications

  • 2001
  • Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center parallel MM5 benchmarks news release (Also on HPCWire).

  • Updated MM5 parallel benchmarks:

  • Michalakes, J., R. Loft, A. Bourgeois (2001): ``Performance-Portability and the Weather Research and Forecast Model,'' in on-line proceedings of the HPC Asia 2001 conference, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Sept. 24-28, 2001. Link to presentation (ppt).. Link to conference paper (pdf). There were no hard-copy proceedings for this conference.

  • Nehrkorn, T., Modica, G., Cerniglia, M., Ruggiero, F., Michalakes, J., and Zou, X. (2001): ``MM5 Adjoint Development using TAMC: Experiences with an Automatic Code Generator, in proceedings of 14th Conference on Numerical Weather Prediction." American Meteorological Socienty, 2001. pp. 481-484.

  • Leung, L.R., J. Michalakes, and X. Bian (2001): ``Parallelization of a Subgrid Orographic Precipitation Scheme in an MM5-based Regional Climate Model.'' In Computational Science -- ICCS 2001, Springer, New York, 2001, pp. 195-203.
    Also Preprint ANL/MCS-P876-0301 (compressed PostScript), March 2001. Click here for abstract.

  • Michalakes, J., S. Chen, J. Dudhia, L. Hart, J. Klemp, J. Middlecoff (2001): ``Development of a Next Generation Regional Weather Research and Forecast Model.'' In Developments in Teracomputing: Proceedings of the Ninth ECMWF Workshop on the Use of High Performance Computing in Meteorology, November 2000, Reading U.K. Eds. Walter Zwieflhofer and Norbert Kreitz. World Scientific, Singapore, 2001. pp. 269-276.
    Click here for www version. ANL Preprint Number ANL/MCS-P868-0101.

  • ``Performance and Maintainability: Conflicting Concerns in Large Community Weather Models.'' University of Chicago Computational Institute seminar, January 12, 2001. Click here for abstract. Click here for slides.
  • 2000
  • Performance Plots:

  • The Same Source Parallel MM5. Journal of Scientific Programming, 8 (2000), 5-12. PostScript (649586 bytes).
  • 1999
  • MPP Option to Official Version of MM5: useful links:
  • MM5 Home Page:
  • MM5 Model Version 2 (General Info Page):
  • MPP Option to MM5 Model (General Info Page):
  • Basic Information:
  • Trouble Shooting:
  • Tales from the MM5/MPP Help Desk (started 4/99)
  • WRF Home page
  • 1998
  • ``Design of a next-generation weather research and forecast model,'' in proceedings of the Eighth Workshop on the Use of Parallel Processors in Meteorology, European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Reading, U.K., November 16-20, 1998. This is ANL/MCS preprint number ANL/MCS-P735-1198. Versions available: Postscript, MSWord, and HTML. Slides from the conference presentation on 16 Oct 1998 are available here.

  • ``The Same Source Parallel MM5,'' in proceedings of the ``Second International Workshop on Software Engineering and Code Design in Parallel Meteorological and Oceanographic Applications,'' June, 1998, Scottsdale, Arizona, Preprint NASA GSFC/CP-1998-206860, pp.129--139. PostScript (447783 bytes).

  • ``The Same Source Parallel MM5'', a collection of slides from several presentations in June, 1998. Shortcut to new performance data in talk, including IBM Silver node performance and Beowulf Linux PC performance data.

  • MM5 Version 2 Release 8: the first version NCAR-supported version adapted to distributed-memory (DM) parallel computers was released Monday, March 23. Announcement.

  • RSL Library now available for direct download from this site.

  • 1997
  • Parallel Computing, Special Issue on Applications: ``Parallel Computing in Regional Weather Modeling.'' C. Baillie, J. Michalakes and R. Skålin, eds. Vol. 23, No. 14, December 1997.

  • Regional Weather Modeling on Parallel Computers, with C. Baillie and R. Skålin. Preface to special issue of Parallel Computing, Vol. 23, No. 14, December 1997, pp. 2135-2142. Gzipped PostScript (38 KB).

  • MM90: A Scalable Parallel Implementation of the Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5). Parallel Computing, Vol. 23, No. 14, December 1997, pp. 2173-2186 ; also ANL/MCS-P659-0597. Gzipped PostScript (122 KB).

  • Same-Source Parallel Implementation of the PSU/NCAR MM5. in proceedings of the Symposium on Regional Weather Prediction on Parallel Computer Environments, University of Athens, Greece, October 15-17, 1997. Proceedings paper (preprint ANL/MCS-P702-1297) in HTML or Postscript . The presentation slides are also available here.

  • The Distributed-Memory Parallel Option to MM5, with J. Tuccillo. Penn State/NCAR MM5 Users Group Workshop, July 21-23, Boulder, Colorado, 1997. gzipped postscript (25KB).

  • FLIC: A Translator for Same-Source Parallel Implementation of Regular Grid Applications (ANL/MCS-TM-233).

  • RSL: A Parallel Runtime System Library for Regional Atmospheric Models with Nesting (ANL preprint ANL/MCS-P663-0597, and other documents).

  • RSL User Manual (Draft Tech Memo).

  • System Implementation for Global Theater Weather Analysis and Prediction System (GTWAPS). Simunich K.L., S.C. Pinkerton, J.G. Michalakes, and J.H. Christiansen. In proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systems (IIPS) for Meteorology, Oceanography, and Hydrology. Long Beach, CA, February 1997. Download as compressed PostScript (47KB); gzipped PostScript (31KB).
  • 1996

  • Irregular 30km grid using an experimental version of the MM90 code running in parallel on IBM SP2.

  • Mpeg movie of an Irregular Grid (233 KB). This is over the Typhoon Faye 30km resolution domain.

  • MM90: The Fortran 90 Implementation of the Parallel MM5. Dynamic memory allocation and run-time specification of grids and nesting. New performance data.

  • Mpeg movie of Typhoon Faye (115 KB). This is a 48 hour MPMM simulation conducted on 14 processors of an IBM SP2. There are 16 frames covering 3 hour each. The model, which consisted of a 100km outer domain, a 33km nest, and a 10km nest, was initialized from observations collected during Typhoon Faye, which hit Korea from the south in July, 1995. The data shown are from the 33km nest.

  • 1995
  • MM90: Usage Notes
    John Michalakes, December 1995. A guide to installing, compiling, and running the new Fortran-90 implementation of the parallel MM5.
  • Recent Performance Data (December 1995).
    SP2 runs from 4 to 64 processors comparing MPMM with new MM90 Fortran-90 version of code with 1 and 3 domains. Best times approaching 2 Gflop/sec on 64 processors.
  • Relative Debugging and its Application to the Development of Large Numerical Models.
    David Abramson, Ian Foster, John Michalakes, Rok Sosic. Supercomputing 95, San Diego, December 1995. Awarded Best Paper of Conference.
  • Recent performance data (July/August 1995).
    Includes data from first T3D runs of parallel code.
  • Recent performance data (May 1995).
  • MPMM: Usage Notes
    John Michalakes and Jace Mogill, January 1996. A guide to installing, compiling, and running the parallel MM5 in general, and on the Argonne IBM SP in particular. Compressed PostScript version (53 KB).
  • ``A Runtime System Library for Parallel Finite Difference Models with Nesting,'' (ANL/MCS TM-197). .
  • 1994
  • Parallel Implementation, Validation, and Performance of MM5
    J. Michalakes, T. Canfield, R. Nanjundiah, and S. Hammond, In proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on the Use of Parallel Processors in Meteorology, European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Reading, U.K., November 21-25, 1994. Compressed postscript version.
  • 1993
    Ian Foster and John Michalakes, "Massively Parallel Implementation of the Penn State/NCAR Mesoscale Model," Proc. 9th International Conference on Interactive Information and Processing Systems for Meteorology, Oceanography and Hydrology. January, 1993, Anaheim CA., American Meteorological Society.

  • Related Work

  • Argonne has also developed a sensitivity-enhanced serial version of MM5 using automatic differentiation technology, and is currently developing a sensitivity-enhanced version of MPMM.

  • The same Source Parallel MM5 is installed and running operationally at Air Force Weather Agency.

  • Our division is developing ways to use CAVE virtual reality technology to explore weather model output.

  • We also work on Parallel Climate Models.

  • John Michalakes's home page at ANL/MCS