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10th Unified Model Workshop and Tutorial held at the Met Office

UM Workshop 2016 group photo

At the beginning of June each year, the Met Office hosts the annual UM User Workshop and Tutorial. It brings together scientists and software engineers from all over the world to review progress and make plans for the coming years. In its 10th year, the event saw 146 delegates from 11 countries attend from 24 organisations, with 28 delegates joining by video conference.

The tutorial (held between the 6th and 17th June 2016) provided hands on training with the Unified Model and related systems for observation processing, data assimilation and verification. It is held annually in the week prior to the workshop to train new model users. The UM User Workshop serves as a focal point for the UM developer community, which is organized in national and international collaboration and includes partners from academia and operational centres. The UM Partnership enables sharing expertise and costs for the development, evaluation and maintenance of the Unified Model used for numerical weather prediction and seasonal and climate prediction at the Met Office.

UM Partnership map 2016-06

The workshop started with updates on developments and plans for operational forecasting systems, used by the different partners. Following sessions focused on the evaluation of regional, global and coupled versions of the UM. One highlight was a session for the newly formed regional modelling working groups to plan their activities around improving physical processes, model validation and convective scale data assimilation.

However, the main focus of this year's workshop was on the evaluation of the new global model configuration GA7 and the new coupled model configuration GC3. The aim of these configurations is to release tested science settings to guide best practice for using the UM. Climate model users appreciated that the science assessment of the coupled configuration GC3 shows a better conservation of net water fluxes due to new prognostic schemes for iceberg calving and transport. The model evaluation by our scientists also covered cyclone development, teleconnections and many other aspects of model performance. Operational meteorologists reported their experiences from using Unified Model forecasts on a daily basis. Based on the evaluation priorities for the next development cycle towards GA8 / GC4 were decided.

Current and future land surface modelling capabilities were discussed. Side meetings were held to evaluate the feasibility to integrate the NASA developed land information system (LIS) for land data assimilation into our forecasting systems. A decision is to be made in the coming months.

During lunch breaks there were demonstrations of the Cube Browser, a new interactive visualization tool to simplify model data analysis. The development of its initial release was financed by the UM Partnership. The workshop finished with a day on the joint technical infrastructure programme and an outlook on emerging changes in the area of high performance computing and our next generation model.

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