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By Eugenia Kalnay


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Extra resources for Atmospheric Modeling, Data Assimilation and Predictability

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1: Schematic of a forecast with slowly varying weather-related variations and superimposed high-frequency gravity waves. Note that even though the forecast of the slow waves is essentially unaffected by the presence of gravity waves, the initial time derivative is much larger in magnitude, as obtained in the Richardson (1922) experiment. (Chapter 3) which requires that the time step should be smaller than the grid size divided by the speed of the fastest traveling signal (in this case horizontally moving sound waves, traveling at about 300 m/s).

Following the success of Charney et al. (1950), Rossby moved back to Sweden, and was able to direct a group that reproduced similar experiments on a powerful Swedish computer known as BESK. As a result, the first operational (real time) numerical weather forecasts started in Sweden in September 1954, six months before the start-up of the US operational forecasts5 (D¨oo¨ s and Eaton, 1957, Wiin-Nielsen, 1991, Bolin, 1999). 3 Primitive equations, global and regional models, and nonhydrostatic models As envisioned by Charney (1951, 1962) the filtered (quasi-geostrophic) equations, although very useful for understanding of the large-scale extratropical dynamics of the atmosphere, were not accurate enough to allow continued progress in NWP, and were eventually replaced by primitive equation models (Chapter 2).

We describe in what follows the evolution of NWP at NCEP, but as mentioned before, similar developments took place at several major operational NWP centers: in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, Australia and Canada. The history of operational NWP at the NMC (now NCEP) has been reviewed by Shuman (1989) and Kalnay et al. (1998). 6 Shuman pointed out that in the first few years, numerical predictions could not compete with those produced manually. They had several serious flaws, among them overprediction of cyclone development.

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