NOAA has announced that Raytheon Intelligence and Space has been chosen to design and develop its Earth Prediction Innovation Center (EPIC).
The extramural center will accelerate community-developed scientific and technological enhancements into the operational applications for numerical weather prediction (NWP).
Craig McLean, NOAA’s acting chief scientist and NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic and atmospheric research, said, “EPIC will help the United States diversify the community that contributes to improving weather forecasting to save lives, protect property, and strengthen our economy.”
EPIC is a collaborative effort involving the larger research community from academia, public agencies, and private industry to contribute to the overall development of the operational models used by NOAA’s National Weather Service to meet its mission of saving lives and property.
EPIC will facilitate the community modeling approach by making it easier for developers across diverse sectors to contribute to the development of these operational models using a common modeling infrastructure
“The creation of EPIC is a foundational piece in a major, multi-step effort by NOAA to expand and strengthen community modeling and help us accelerate the improvements in operational weather and climate forecasting,” said Louis W Uccellini, director, NOAA’s National Weather Service. “This effort will improve forecasts and decision-support activities to ensure communities are ready for, and respond to, oncoming extreme weather, water, and climate events.”
NOAA is already benefiting from research collaborations to accelerate development of the nation’s Unified Forecast System (UFS), a community-based, comprehensive Earth modeling system, which is becoming the core of NOAA’s operational Numerical Weather Prediction applications.
In order to support the accelerated drive to improve weather modeling, NOAA is also tripling its operational supercomputing capacity. New supercomputers and cloud computing capabilities are also being leveraged to quickly transition research and development advancements, including those that will occur through EPIC, into operations at the National Weather Service.
To encourage community collaborations, NOAA has publicly released user-friendly computer codes for medium-range and short-range weather prediction. NOAA has also recently upgraded its flagship global weather model to improve forecasting of high-impact weather events such as hurricanes, severe weather outbreaks, rainfall, and blizzards.