AceCAST: Providing Faster Time-to-Solution High Resolution Weather Forecasts
By: Taylor Trask, Meteorology Solutions Architect, TempoQuest
AceCAST is an accelerated version of the well-known National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)’s Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. This product utilizes powerful cutting-edge software powered by Graphic Processing Units (GPUs) instead of traditional Central Processing Units (CPUs), which enables extensive acceleration practices. AceCAST has undergone half-a-decade of meticulous research and development to ensure WRF users are provided with significant, yet accurate, performance optimizations, which further enables enhanced time-to-solution high-resolution weather forecasts.
AceCAST encompasses an ample set of refactored common WRF physics and dynamics modules, as well as namelist options with NVIDIA CUDA and OpenACC programming techniques, which allows a wide swath of users to adopt AceCAST painlessly as a drop-in replacement for existing WRF configurations.
The most recent release of AceCAST, Version 1.3, added four new capabilities: Adaptive Time Stepping, Stochastic Perturbation Schemes for ensemble forecasting, Fractional Sea Ice, and Analysis Nudging.
Adaptive Time Stepping: enables the maximization of the incremental change in time for which the governing equations are being solved while keeping the model numerically stable.
Stochastic Perturbation Schemes: enables users to easily identify areas of model uncertainty in ensemble (group) simulations by applying a small perturbation (change) at every incremental change in time for which the governing equations are being solved to each ensemble member. Having the ability to identify model uncertainty is critical to improving the model forecast. Additionally, stochastic perturbation can enhance the representation and variability of model forecasts.
Fractional Sea Ice: enables users to treat sea-ice as a fractional field to better represent polar climates.
Analysis Nudging: enables users to apply Four-Dimensional Data Assimilation (FDDA) technique that nudges the model towards the analysis by nudging either horizontal winds, temperature, or water vapor or a combination. Analysis nudging adds a corrective term to the predictive (time-varying) equations that is based on the difference between the model and a reference field computed at each grid cell. Analysis Nudging is commonly used for research in historical simulations.
TempoQuest continues to implement new advanced capabilities and has been diligently working on incorporating several into the next release of AceCAST. Stay tuned for this new release and new features!
TempoQuest is an independent weather software vendor that was incorporated to revolutionize mesoscale weather forecast modeling and to simplify the forecast tasks for meteorologists. TempoQuest offers two software products, AceCAST, or accelerated WRF software, and WSV3, a highly advanced weather visualization and storm tracking software. Additionally, TempoQuest offers WRF On-Demand, a cloud application that greatly simplifies and accelerates the running of CPU and GPU WRF simulations.
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