GFDL SHiELD: A Unified System for Weather-to-Seasonal Prediction

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Journal Article

We present the System for High‐resolution prediction on Earth‐to‐Local Domains (SHiELD), an atmosphere model developed by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) coupling the nonhydrostatic FV3 Dynamical Core to a physics suite originally taken from the Global Forecast System. SHiELD is designed to demonstrate new capabilities within its components, explore new model applications, and to answer scientific questions through these new functionalities. A variety of configurations are presented, including short‐to‐medium‐range and subseasonal‐to‐seasonal prediction, global‐to‐regional convective‐scale hurricane and contiguous U.S. precipitation forecasts, and global cloud‐resolving modeling. Advances within SHiELD can be seamlessly transitioned into other Unified Forecast System or FV3‐based models, including operational implementations of the Unified Forecast System. Continued development of SHiELD has shown improvement upon existing models. The flagship 13‐km SHiELD demonstrates steadily improved large‐scale prediction skill and precipitation prediction skill. SHiELD and the coarser‐resolution S‐SHiELD demonstrate a superior diurnal cycle compared to existing climate models; the latter also demonstrates 28 days of useful prediction skill for the Madden‐Julian Oscillation. The global‐to‐regional nested configurations T‐SHiELD (tropical Atlantic) and C‐SHiELD (contiguous United States) show significant improvement in hurricane structure from a new tracer advection scheme and promise for medium‐range prediction of convective storms.

Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Date Published
October 2020
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