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Climate Forecast System

The Climate Forecast System (CFS) models the interactions between Earth's oceans, land, and atmosphere on a global scale. The model is produced by several dozen scientists under guidance from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and generates hourly data with a ½° horizontal resolution (approximately 56 km).

Specifications and Data Access

CFS uses the latest scientific approaches to incorporate observations from a variety of data sources, including surface observations, upper air balloon observations, aircraft observations, and satellite observations. NCEI provides access to near real-time historical model data, while real-time data are available on NCEP servers through the CFS 7-day rotating archive.

Products

Operational

CFSv2 Operational Forecasts
Time Frame: 
April 1, 2011—Present

File Format: 
GRIB2
CFSv2 Operational Analysis
Time Frame: 
April 1, 2011—Present

File Formats: 
GRIB2, BUFR

Historical

CFS Reforecasts
Time Frames: 
Dec. 12, 1981—March 2011,  Jan. 1, 1999— March 31, 2011
 
File Formats: 
GRIB2
CFS Reanalysis (CFSR)
Time Frame: 
Jan. 1, 1979—March 31, 2011

File Formats: 
GRIB2, BUFR

Calibration

CFSRR Calibration Climatologies
Time Frames: 
1982—2010, 1999—2010
 
File Formats: 
GRIB2

Data Usage Notes

02 Dec 2011

NCEI and NCEP have identified that the "High-Priority Reforecast" datasets are roughly 99% serially complete at this time and may contain isolated damaged files.

01 Aug 2011

Known CFSRR data issues are explained in the August 2011 CFSRR Known Issues Technical Document.

18 Feb 2010

Notice to users who downloaded CFSR time series data prior to 22:00 UTC February 18, 2010:

A format conversion issue was verified affecting the metadata in non-instantaneous CFSR time series files (28 of the 73 file types affected are listed below). The issue, triggered during the conversion process between GRIB1 to GRIB2 by NCEP (to facilitate transmission and storage), caused the non-instantaneous fields (00-01, 01-02, 02-03 hr statistical) to appear instantaneous (00-00, 01-01, 02-02 hr statistical) when decoded. At 22:00 UTC February 18, 2010, NCEI will begin bringing corrected versions of these files online. Users who have already downloaded these files are encouraged to re-download these files on/after Friday, February 19, otherwise be aware of these facts when using your existing copy. If you improvise the metadata, the data itself is valid. The issue affects the following time series file types (28):

  • dlwsfc
  • ocnsal15
  • ocnv15
  • tmax
  • dwsfc
  • ocnsal5
  • ocnv5
  • tmin
  • gflux
  • ocnslh
  • ocnvv55
  • ulwsfc
  • lhtfl
  • ocnsst
  • prate
  • ulwtoa
  • ocndt20c
  • ocnt15
  • runoff
  • uswsfc
  • ocnheat
  • ocnu15
  • shtfl
  • uswtoa
  • ocnmld
  • ocnu5
  • snohf
  • wndstrs
 

About CFSv2 Operational Products

Operational real-time CFS model data are available on NCEP servers on the CFS 7-day rotating archive. NCEI provides access to historical, near-real time data from CFS operational analysis and forecasts.

CFSv2 Operational Analysis

CFSv2 Operational Analysis Time Series and Monthly Means
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordOutput TimestepData Access Links
Time SeriesVarious01Apr2011 - PresentHourly, full month
Monthly Means Energetics (EGY)Various01Apr2011 - Present+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06
Monthly Means Fluxes (FLX)Various01Apr2011 - Present+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06
Monthly Means Isentropic (IPV)Various01Apr2011 - Present+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06
Monthly Means Ocean (OCN)Various01Apr2011 - Present+01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06
Monthly Means Pressure (PGB)Various01Apr2011 - Present+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06
CFSv2 Operational Analysis 6-Hourly Products
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
6-Hourly Surface and Radiative Fluxes (FLX)Gaussian: T57401Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
6-Hourly Low-Resolution DataGaussian: T62; Lat/Lon: 1.0°, 2.5°01Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
6-Hourly 3-D Isentropic Level Data (IPV)Lat/Lon: 0.5°01Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
6-Hourly 3-D Ocean Data (OCN)Lat/Lon: 0.5°01Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
6-Hourly 3-D Pressure Level Data (PGB)Lat/Lon: 0.5°01Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
CFSv2 Operational Analysis Initial Conditions
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleData Access Links
High Resolution Initial Conditions (HIC)Various01Apr2011 - 31Dec20144/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTCHTTPS
Low Resolution Initial Conditions (LIC)Various01Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTCHTTPS
Full Ingest Data (dumps)Various01Apr2011 - 31Dec20144/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTCHTTPS

CFSv2 Operational Forecasts

CFSv2 Operational Forecasts Time Series and Monthly Means
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
9-Month Forecasts: Time SeriesVarious01Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTCHourly, out ~9 months
9-Month Forecasts: Monthly MeansVarious01Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTCMonthly, 00, 06, 12, and 18UTC; out ~9 months
CFSv2 Operational Forecasts 6-Hourly Products
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
9-Month Forecasts: 6-Hourly Surface and Radiative Fluxes (FLX)Gaussian: T12601Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC6-Hourly: +00, +06, +12,...out ~6 months
9-Month Forecasts: 6-Hourly 3D Isentropic Level Data (IPV)Lat/Lon: 0.5°01Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC6-Hourly: +00, +06, +12,...out ~6 months
9-Month Forecasts: 6-Hourly 3D Ocean Data (OCN)Lat/Lon: 0.5°01Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC6-Hourly: +00, +06, +12,...out ~6 months
9-Month Forecasts: 6-Hourly 3D Pressure Level Data (PGB)Lat/Lon: 0.5°01Apr2011 - Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC6-Hourly: +00, +06, +12,...out ~6 months

About Historical Products

Reanalysis

The Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) was an effort to generate a uniform, continuous, best-estimate record of the state of the ocean–atmosphere interaction for use in climate monitoring and diagnostics. The reanalysis method kept the model’s software constant and ran the model retrospectively from January 1979 through March 2011.

CITATION

Saha, S., S. Moorthi, H. Pan, X. Wu, J. Wang, and Coauthors, 2010: The NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 91, 1015–1057, doi:10.1175/2010BAMS3001.1.

Reforecast

In addition to the reanalysis efforts, the CFS model was used to generate a reforecast of past weather forecasts. Reforecasts help scientists better understand the model's ability to produce accurate weather forecasts. The CFS reforecasts were initialized with CFSR data, which were the best estimate of initial conditions from the assimilation of observational data into the CFS model. Reforecast predictions start in mid-December of 1981. CFS reforecast data were used to generate calibration climatologies for use with the operational CFS version 2 (CFSv2) forecasts of seasonal weather. Together, the CFSR and the CFS reforecast data are known as the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis and Reforecast (CFSRR). The operational CFSv2 analysis and forecasts continue the dataset from April 2011 to present.

CITATION

Saha, S., ;S. Moorthi, X. Wu, J. Wang, and Coauthors, 2014: The NCEP Climate Forecast System Version 2. Journal of Climate, 27, 2185–2208, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00823.1.

CFS Reanalysis and Reforecast (CFSRR)/CFS Reanalysis (CFSR)

The NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) was designed and executed as a global, high-resolution, coupled atmosphere-ocean-land surface-sea ice system to accurately estimate the state of these coupled domains throughout the 32-year period of record (January 1979—March 2011). It has been extended as an operational real-time product.

"The CFSR data was developed by NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). The data for this study are from NOAA's National Operational Model Archive and Distribution System (NOMADS), which is maintained at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI)."
CFS Reanalysis (CFSR) Time Series and Monthly Means
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
Time SeriesLat/Lon: 0.5°, 1.0°, 2.5°; Gaussian: T382, T6201Jan1979 - 31Mar2011MonthlyHourly, full month
Monthly MeansLat/Lon: 0.5°, 1.0°, 2.5°; Gaussian: T382, T6201Jan1979 - 31Mar2011Monthly: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06
CFS Reanalysis (CFSR) 6-Hourly Products
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
6-Hourly 3-D Diabatic Heating Data (DIAB)Lat/Lon: 1.0°01Jan1979 - 31Mar20114/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
6-Hourly Surface and Radiative Fluxes (FLX)Gaussian: T38201Jan1979 - 31Mar20114/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
6-Hourly Low-Resolution DataLat/Lon: 1.0°, 2.5°; Gaussian: T6201Jan1979 - 31Mar20114/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
6-Hourly 3-D Isentropic Level (IPV)Lat/Lon: 0.5°01Jan1979 - 31Mar20114/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
6-Hourly 3-D Ocean Data (OCN)Lat/Lon: 0.5°01Jan1979 - 31Mar20114/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
6-Hourly 3-D Pressure Level Data (PGB)Lat/Lon: 0.5°01Jan1979 - 31Mar20114/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, +01, +02, +03, +04, +05, +06, +09
CFS Reanalysis (CFSR) Initial Conditions
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleData Access Links
High Resolution Initial Conditions (HIC)Various01Jan1979 - 31Mar20114/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTCHTTPS
Low Resolution Initial Conditions (LIC)Various01Jan1979 - 31Mar20114/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTCHTTPS
Full Ingest Data (dumps)Various01Jan1979 - 31Mar20114/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTCHTTPS

CFS Reforecasts

The complete reforecast of CFS over the 29-year period (1982–2011) provides stable calibration and skill estimates of the new system for operational seasonal and sub-seasonal prediction at NCEP. There are coupled full 9-month forecasts from initial conditions every 5 days apart (for all four cycles on that day) have been made for each calendar year with the T126L64 GFS with half-hourly coupling to the ocean (MOM4 at 1/4° equatorial, 1/2° global). The total number of 9-month forecasts is 73x4 for each year. In addition to the 9-month runs, there is a full season run from every 00Z cycle over a 12-year period (1999–2011). There is also a short 45-day forecast from every 06Z, 12Z, and 18Z cycle over the same 12-year period (1999–2011).

CFS Reforecast "First-Look" Time Series and Monthly Means
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
Monthly Means of Daily AveragesVarious01Jan1984-31Dec200900Z, 06Z, 12Z, 18Z cycles, 1 out of 5 daysMonthly, out ~9 months
Monthly Mean Time Series of Select VariablesVarious01Jan1999-31Dec2009Full PORMonthly, out full POR
6-Hourly Time Series from 45-Day and Seasonal RunsVarious01Jan1999-31Dec200900Z cycle, 4 out of 5 days for 45-day runs; 06Z, 12Z, 18Z cycles; 4 out of 5 days for seasonal runs6-Hourly, out ~45 days or ~3 months
6-Hourly Time Series from 9-Month RunsVarious12Dec1981-31Mar201100Z, 06Z, 12Z, 18Z cycles, 1 out of 5 days6-Hourly, out ~9 months
CFS Reforecast "High-Priority" Subset
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
Monthly Means from 9-Month RunsVarious12Dec1981-31Mar201100Z, 06Z, 12Z, 18Z cycles, 1 out of 5 daysMonthly, 00, 06, 12, and 18UTC; out ~9 months
Monthly Means from Seasonal RunsVarious01Jan1999-31Mar201100Z cycle, 4 out of 5 daysMonthly, 00, 06, 12, and 18UTC; out ~3 months
Time Series from 45-Day and Seasonal RunsVarious01Jan1999-31Mar201106Z, 12Z, 18Z cycles; 4 out of 5 days6-Hourly, out ~45 days or ~3 months
Time Series from 9-Month RunsVarious12Dec1981-31Mar201100Z, 06Z, 12Z, 18Z cycles, 1 out of 5 days6-Hourly, out ~9 months
CFS Reforecast 6-Hourly PGBF and FLXF (1982-2011 and 1999-2011)
ProductGrid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
45-Day Runs of FLXFGaussian: T12601Jan1999-31Mar201106Z, 12Z, 18Z cycles; 4 out of 5 days6-Hourly: +00, +06, +12,...out 45 days
45-Day Runs of PGBFLat/Lon: 1°01Jan1999-31Mar201106Z, 12Z, 18Z cycles; 4 out of 5 days6-Hourly: +00, +06, +12,...out 45 days
90-Day Runs of FLXFGaussian: T12601Jan1999-31Mar201100Z cycle, 4 out of 5 days6-Hourly: +00, +06, +12,...out ~3 months
90-Day Runs of PGBFLat/Lon: 1°01Jan1999-31Mar201100Z cycle, 4 out of 5 days6-Hourly: +00, +06, +12,...out ~3 months
9-Month Runs of FLXFGaussian: T12612Dec1981-31Mar201100Z, 06Z, 12Z, 18Z cycles, 1 out of 5 days6-Hourly: +00, +06, +12,...out ~6 months
9-Month Runs of PGBFLat/Lon: 1°12Dec1981-31Mar201100Z, 06Z, 12Z, 18Z cycles, 1 out of 5 days6-Hourly: +00, +06, +12,...out ~6 months

CFSRR Calibration Climatologies

CFS Reanalysis Calibration Climatologies have not yet been ingested/archived at NCEI. Links to product data in the tables below are not serially complete.

CFS Reanalysis Calibration Climatologies
ProductPeriod of Record
Monthly Means: Mean and Standard Deviation1982-2010 and 1999-2010
Time Series: Mean for All Variables1982-2010
Time Series: Standard Deviation for All Variables1982-2010
Time Series: Mean for All Variables1999-2010
Time Series: Standard Deviation for All Variables1999-2010
CFS Reforecast Calibration Climatologies
ProductPeriod of RecordData Access Links
9-Month Runs: FLXF Mean and Standard Deviation1982-2010HTTPS
9-Month Runs: FLXF Mean and Standard Deviation1999-2010HTTPS
9-Month Runs: IPVF Mean and Standard Deviation1982-2010HTTPS
9-Month Runs: IPVF Mean and Standard Deviation1999-2010HTTPS
9-Month Runs: OCNF Mean and Standard Deviation1982-2010HTTPS
9-Month Runs: OCNF Mean and Standard Deviation1999-2010HTTPS
9-Month Runs: OCNH Mean and Standard Deviation1999-2010HTTPS
9-Month Runs: PGBF Mean and Standard Deviation1982-2010HTTPS
9-Month Runs: PGBF Mean and Standard Deviation1999-2010HTTPS
9-Month Runs Time Series: Mean and Standard Deviation by Variable1982-2010 and 1999-2010 
45 and 90-Day Runs Time Series: Mean by Variable1999-2010 
45 and 90-Day Runs Time Series: Standard Deviation by Variable1999-2010 

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