The guide to weather forecast models used in Windy.app

The guide to weather forecast models used in Windy.app

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The weather depends on lots of different factors: wind speed, cloudiness, pressure, humidity, etc.

All of them can be measured and represented in meters per second, millimeters of mercury, etc. A mathematical weather model is a combination of all these factors. Such models tend to be very complex, powerful computers calculate them.

Usually, weather models are provided by national weather services, but sometimes they can also be produced by groups of enthusiasts. In this section, we want to introduce you to our models, from which we get forecasts.

Windy.app has two types of forecast predictive models: global — on the map, and local — for a spot.

Then, there are some features of the weather models:

  • The grid or resolution is the distance between two points. Bigger resolutions of 50 to 10 km in size are usually deployed in relatively flat terrains, while mountain ranges require the nodes to be a lot closer to each other, usually 5, 2, or 1 km.
  • The depth of the weather forecast is the number of hours or days for which the forecast is made. As a rule, the lower the depth, the more accurate the forecast.
  • The step is for how long you can see a forecast. There are two steps types: 1 h and 3 h. In Windy.app you can choose one or another, because in models with 3 h step, we divide it up to 1 h.
  • The update frequency of the forecast is the regular time interval after which new forecast data is received from the supercomputers. For example, the forecast can be updated once a day, 2 times a day, 4 times a day, or almost every hour like in HRRR model.

ECMWF — Global

ECMWF weather model, London weather in the Windy.app for iOS

ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) is a global weather model by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Headquarters: Reading, UK. Considered the best for precipitation and cloudness.

  • Resolution (grid): 14 km (mi)
  • Depth (period): 10 days
  • Step: 1 h
  • Updates: 2 times a day (every 12 h)

ECMWF-ENS — Global

ECMWF-ENS weather model, Tokyo weather in the Windy.app for iOS

ECMWF-ENS (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts Ensemble Model) is a global weather model by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. Headquarters: Reading, UK.

  • Resolution (grid): 27 km (mi)
  • Depth (period): 6 days
  • Step: 3 h
  • Updates: 4 times a day (every 6 h)

Learn more about ut in an article "How to Use Ensemble Models for Weather Forecast".

GFS27 — Global

GFS27 weather model, New York weather in the Windy.app for iOS

GFS27 (Global Forecast System) is a global weather model by the The United States' National Weather Service.

  • Resolution (grid): 27 km
  • Depth (period): 10 days
  • Step: 3 h
  • Updates: 4 times a day (every 6 h)

GFS+ — Global

GFS+ weather model, Los Angeles weather in the Windy.app for iOS

GFS+ (Global Forecast System +) is a global weather model by the The United States' National Weather Service. While the GFS27 interpolates data for every dot within a 27 km x 27 km square, its modification GFS+, specially provided by Windy.app specialists, always shows only the maximum result in each square (radius of the spot).

  • Resolution (grid): 27 km
  • Depth (period): 10 days
  • Step: 1 h
  • Updates: 4 time a day (every 6 h)

ICON13 — Global

ICON13 weather model, Rio de Janeiro weather in the Windy.app for iOS

ICON13 ((Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic)) is a gloval weather model by the Deutscher Wetterdienst (German National Meteorological Service).

  • Resolution (grid): 13 km
  • Depth (period): 7,5 days
  • Step: 1 h
  • Updates: 4 time a day (every 6 h)

ICON7 — Europe

ICON7 weather model, Munich weather in the Windy.app for iOS

ICON7 ((Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic)) is a regional Europe weather model by the Deutscher Wetterdienst (German National Meteorological Service).

  • Resolution (grid): 7 km
  • Depth (period): 5 days
  • Step: 1 h
  • Updates: 4 time a day (every 6 h)

NAM — North America

NAM weather model, Chicago weather in the Windy.app for iOS

NAM (North American Mesoscale Forecast System) is a regional North America weather model by the The National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US (NOAA).

  • Resolution (grid): 12 km
  • Depth (period): 2,5 days
  • Step: 1 h
  • Updates: 2 times a day (every 12 h)

HRRR — North America

HRRR weather modesl, San Francisco weather in the Windy.app for iOS

HRRR (Name: High Resolution Rapid Refresh) is regional North America weather model by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US (NOAA). It provides a great forecast for the continental US based with radars' data — the unique advantage of HRRR. It is assimilated every 15 min over a 1 h period. It gives short-range weather forecasts with pretty good accuracy.

  • Resolution (grid): 3 km (1.9 mi)
  • Depth (period): 2 days
  • Step: 1 h
  • Updates: 18 times a day (every 1:30 h)

WRF8 — Europe

WRF8 weather model, Moscow weather in the Windy.app for iOS

The WRF (Weather Research and Forecasting) is a regional Europe weather model by the Windy.app based on Open WRF weather model developed by several scientific laboratories in different countries. Using it, Windy.app's calculates a hyperlocal forecast on our servers for Europe and the Mediterranean. Headquarters: New York, USA.

  • Resolution (grid): 8 km
  • Depth (period): 3 days
  • Step: 3 h
  • Updates: 1 time a day (every 24 h)

OS (OpenSkiron) — Mediterranean

Open Skiron weather model, Athens weather in the Windy.app for iOS

OS (Open Skiron) is a regional Mediterranean weather model by the University of Athens. Headquarters: Athens, Greece.

  • Resolution (grid): 12 km
  • Depth (period): 5 days
  • Step: 3 h
  • Updates: 1 time a day (every 24 h)

OpenWRF — Mediterranean

OpenWRF weather model, Barcelona weather in the Windy.app for iOS

OPEN WRF (Open Weather Research and Forecasting) is a regional Mediterranean weather model by the University of Athens and a group of enthusiasts based on the WRF technology. Headquarters: Athens, Greece.

  • Resolution (grid): 12 km
  • Depth (period): 4 days
  • Step: 3 h
  • Updates: 4 times a day (every 6 h)

AROME — France and the surrounding territories

AROME weather model, Paris weather in the Windy.app for iOS

AROME is a regional France and the surrounding territories weather model by the Meteo France (French National Meteorological Service). Headquarters: Paris, France.

  • Resolution (grid): 1.25 km
  • Depth (period): 1,7 days
  • Step: 1 h
  • Updates: 4 time a day (every 6 h)

 

Read about the advantages of each model and lots of other useful info in the guide on forecast models in Windy.app blog. Read more manuals to the app in Windy.app Guides.

Text: Windy.app team. Cover photo: Markusspiske / Unsplash.

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