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Hi all.

Have any of you come across this American Company run by one Thomas Ehresperger who sells programmes that enable you to forecast the weather for your own locality?  Insofar that one might wish to predict the weather for your area, I wonder whether one can tweak certain variables further afield such as upper-level winds, sea-ice in the Arctic and airmass temperatures- in order to ascertain how it might impact the weather you can predict.  I have read some of the reviews on the WXSIM Website, they seem quite positive.  I am looking to buy my own weather model (I posted the topic of Buying Your Own Weather Model as a topic earlier this year, as I had in mind to do this.  The link to the WXSIM Website is here:  http://www.wxsim.com/

If any of you have in mind where one can buy other (better) Weather Models that one can use on an ordinary Computer and without breaking the Bank I would be most grateful.

Regards

 

Ian Pennell

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Just to add Cima-Sim is a related software that Thomas Ehresperger sells that enables one to model how changes in solar radiation, ocean currents and wind speeds (crudely using a mixing factor),  carbon dioxide levels change mean monthly and annual temperatures, including average minima and maxima. It is quite crude and does not predict rainfall, snowfall, etc. You would probably have to make an intelligent guess or an estimation for the likelihood of precipitation, although what this Cima-Sim model does do is to allow you to modify surface vegetation types, over which it will assume lower cloud cover and higher diurnal range for desert surfaces but the opposite for forest surfaces.

However, the WXSIM programme is the one I am interested in. Do any of you have the software or come across it. I would like to know whether you think it's worth spending £200 to get the full package! 

Cheers 

Ian Pennell 

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Have you considered weather models such as MM5 and WRF or climate models such as GISS/EdGCM for example?

They are professional grade and freely available (30-day trial for EdGCM).

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22 hours ago, Interitus said:

Have you considered weather models such as MM5 and WRF or climate models such as GISS/EdGCM for example?

They are professional grade and freely available (30-day trial for EdGCM).

Interitus,

Thanks for the information:  Does freely available just mean a month or so trial period?  Secondly, it would also be good to know whether you can run this professional weather-modelling software a normal PC with the usual (i.e. Windows) software, or whether it would require the purchase of extra software and a more expensive computer. Anything above £1,000 is out of the question at the moment!

However, I will look into what you have just shared with me to investigate whether it's worth proceeding further.

Btw I have just purchased the WXSIM Standard Mode with Enhanced Customisation programme. The man who owns the WXSIM enterprise, one Thomas Ehrensperger, is customising the Weather Modelling software for my location at this very moment! It cost £150 altogether.

Ian

 

 

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They are free to download, though registration may be required.

Beware, as these packages are generally supplied as source code they may need a certain level of skill to install and compile.

Hardware requirements depend on how intensive the simulations are, obviously NWP can take as much processing power as you can chuck at it!

However, minimum levels can be surprisingly low. MM5 traces its roots back to the 1970s, with the final release of v.3.7 in December 2004, supported to 2008. The stated minimum requirements are a Unix workstation with just 128 Mb memory and 1-2 Gb disk. (Note - version 2 was transportable to MS windows but not v3)

MM5 - http://www2.mmm.ucar.edu/mm5/

Quote

The PSU/NCAR mesoscale model (known as MM5) is a limited-area, nonhydrostatic, terrain-following sigma-coordinate model designed to simulate or predict mesoscale atmospheric circulation. The model is supported by several pre- and post-processing programs, which are referred to collectively as the MM5 modeling system. The MM5 modeling system software is mostly written in Fortran, and has been developed at Penn State and NCAR as a community mesoscale model with contributions from users worldwide.

The MM5 modeling system software is freely provided and supported by the Mesoscale Prediction Group in the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division, NCAR.

WRF is the replacement for MM5 and contains two dynamical solvers, referred to as the ARW (Advanced Research WRF) core and the NMM (Nonhydrostatic Mesoscale Model) core https://www.mmm.ucar.edu/weather-research-and-forecasting-model

There is a helpful online tutorial - http://www2.mmm.ucar.edu/wrf/OnLineTutorial/index.htm - and a fairly busy user's forum - http://forum.wrfforum.com/

WRF can also be installed on windows 64-bit versions.

A selection of sites using WRF can be seen here - http://www2.mmm.ucar.edu/projects/wrf-model/plots/wrfrealtime.php

An interesting development is WRF EMS which combines both WRF cores above with the NCEP non-hydrostatic mesoscale model (NMM). Different versions are also known as STRC EMS and the latest STRC UEMS, and as they are precompiled, the intention is that is should be possible to get a simulation running within 30 minutes - http://strc.comet.ucar.edu/software/uems/

For more info on usage checkout the UEMS/WRF EMS Unofficial Forums - http://www.wrfems.info/index.php

Also with regards to hardware it is worth looking at WRF etc implementations which take advantage of using GPU parallel processing with CUDA/OpenCL code on the graphics card to enhance performance.

Edited by Interitus
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I have got WXSIM with WXSIMATE as the file-downloading  software up-and-running on my Computer and attached to my Weather Station.  However, it looks like I need my Computer attached to the Internet for it to access and download real-time up-wind data and upper-air data on temperature, cloud-cover and wind strengths and directions!  For all that, I find WXSIM to be a fascinating little tool to simulate a whole variety of "What If" scenarios- like a week of 10 mph northerly winds from the Arctic in February:  It will give a good indication of how cold it is likely to get. The programme has in-built features to suggest when showers or thunderstorms occur (and a guide to likely intensity- though you would have to manually put in rainfall amounts on a second forecast-run based on the descriptions), it predicts conditions such as freezing rain or ice-pellets (this is American software, so it refers to ice-pellets as sleet!).  It also predicts when low cloud or fog occurs, something that we get a lot of in the North Pennines (especially over this last week).

Certainly, if you have Internet on your Computer and have WXSIM able to get data from your Weather Station (if you have one)- and you have WXSIM Customised for your local area, it will download weather data pertinent to your location and up-wind along with upper-air data (usually GFS data) and WXSIM will produce a forecast for your local area up to ten days ahead.  From the feedback I have read about WXSIM the forecasts it produces are often very good. It has to be said though, that even with sophisticated forecasting software, the forecasts can prove wrong- and in the case of WXSIM the forecasts will only be as good as the data you feed into it. In the example I have given of a week of northerlies from the high Arctic in February, the temperature predictions are most realistic if you use the suggested Default data for up-wind temperatures (based on climatological averages for that time of year), although there is a feature that enables you to put in your own up-wind data manually. You could put -80C over the Greenland Icecap with 90 mph winds, for example, but this would be neither realistic or likely; and the forecast that you get will produce temperatures of -30C or colder- very unlikely unless the Norwegian Sea were to freeze over!

The programme WXSIM does nevertheless has in-built constraints that do prevent it producing gibberish:  If you put rain into the Interrupt Planner (whereby you can stipulate certain meteorological conditions at particular times) it will not predict rain or snow (and the forecast precipitation will be zero) if you also stipulate zero cloud-cover should occur. It will vary diurnal range according to how wet the ground is, whether there is snow-cover and according to cloud-cover and wind-speed and this will be done against the background of day-to-day temperature changes according to wind-directions:  this conforms to meteorological physics and it will alter the temperature of overlying air-masses (and at different levels in the atmosphere)- dependent on the directions you stipulate for the upper winds to blow at the start of a Forecast Run.

To find out more about WXSIM go to http://www.wxsim.com

Ian Pennell

 

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