Skip to main content

Global Forecast System

The Global Forecast System (GFS) is a National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) weather forecast model that generates data for dozens of atmospheric and land-soil variables, including temperatures, winds, precipitation, soil moisture, and atmospheric ozone concentration. The system couples four separate models (atmosphere, ocean model, land/soil model, and sea ice) that work together to accurately depict weather conditions.

GFS Cloud Data

The NOAA Big Data Program also provides access to gridded 0.25°- and 0.5°-resolution analysis and forecast data in a trailing 30-day window in the AWS Open Data Registry for GFS.

GFS Parameter Sets

GFS Analysis

Grid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleOutput TimestepParameter Sets
0.25°Trailing 30 days4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC1/cycle
  • pgrb2
  • pgrb2b
0.5°Trailing 30 days4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC1/cycle
  • pgrb2 
  • pgrb2b

GFS Forecasts

Grid/ScalePeriod of RecordModel CycleOutput TimestepParameter Sets
0.25°Trailing 30 days4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC3-hourly, +000 to +384 hours
  • pgrb2
  • pgrb2b 
  • gtg
0.5°Trailing 30 days4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC3-hourly, +000 to +384
  • pgrb2
  • pgrb2b 
  • pgrb2full

GFS Data on NCEI Servers

NCEI provides access to the following gridded analysis and forecast data from GFS.

GFS Analysis (GFS-ANL)

Period of RecordGrid/ScaleModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
01Jan2007–Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, (+03, +06 precipitation fields)
02Mar2004–Present4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC+00, (+03, +06 precipitation fields)

GFS Forecasts (GFS Model)

Period of RecordGrid/ScaleModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
10Oct2006–Present (approx. two years to present online)4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC3-hourly, +000 to +192 hours
15Feb2005–Present (approx. six months to present online)4/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC3-hourly, +000 to +240 hours; 12-hourly, +252 to +384

GFS Forecasts (GFS-AVN Model)

Period of RecordGrid/ScaleModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
02Mar2004–15Feb20054/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC3-hourly, +000 to +240 hoursHAS

Legacy NCEP NOAAPort Analysis and Forecasts

Before January 2003, the GFS split into GFS Aviation (AVN) GFS Medium Range Forecast (MRF) models. AVN and MRF products are a collection from NCEP's NOAAPort. Grids, domains, run frequencies, and output frequencies have changed over the years.

GFS-AVN

Period of RecordGrid/ScaleModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
01Jan2003–30Nov20044/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC6-hourly, +000 to +180 hours; 12-hourly +192 to +240 hours
01Jan2003–30Nov20044/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC6-hourly, +000 to +120 hours
01Feb2003–30Nov20044/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC6-hourly, +000 to +120 hours
01Jan2003–30Nov20044/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC6-hourly, +000 to +120 hours
01Jan2003–30Nov20044/day: 00, 06, 12, 18UTC6-hourly, +000 to +120 hours

GFS-MRF

Period of RecordGrid/ScaleModel CycleOutput TimestepData Access Links
01Feb2003–30Nov20041/day: 00UTC12-hourly, +000 to +240 hours
01Feb2003–30Nov20041/day: 00UTC12-hourly, +000 to +240 hours
01Jan2003–30Nov20041/day: 00UTC12-hourly, +000 to +240 hours
01Jan2003–30Nov20041/day: 00UTC12-hourly, +000 to +240 hours

Specifications

The model is constantly evolving, and regularly adjusted to improve performance and forecast accuracy. GFS is a global model with a base horizontal resolution of 18 miles (28 kilometers) between grid points. Temporal resolution covers analysis and forecasts out to 16 days. Horizontal resolution drops to 44 miles (70 kilometers) between grid points for forecasts between one week and two weeks. 

More Information