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RAP opportunity at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration     NOAA

Data assimilation, including clouds, radar and boundary layer, and global subseasonal coupled modeling and forecasting


Earth System Research Laboratories, Global Systems Laboratory

opportunity location
26.05.04.C0056 Boulder, CO 80305


name email phone
David D Turner 720-712-8577


There are opportunities for postdoctoral studies regarding data assimilation, including for clouds, radar and boundary layer, and global subseasonal coupled (atmospheric-ocean-aerosol) modeling and forecasting. Our group in GSD works closely with the National Weather Service on improving NOAA’s operational models. We focus on improved frequently updated convection-allowing modeling for severe weather, aviation/transportation, hydrology, and energy applications. We also work on improving model representations of the boundary layer, land surface, and stable and convective clouds including aerosol interaction.

Some of our group’s current projects include Development of Rapid Refresh (RAP) and High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR), two experimental models developed in the Global Systems Division which are now operational, helping weather forecasters around the country predict rapidly changing weather conditions including severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, and intense snowstorms. Development of global coupled models for improved medium-range to subseasonal forecasts. One of these models is the Flow-following finite-volume Icosahedral Model (FIM). This global model uses an icosahedral grid and an adaptive vertical coordinate system that concentrates around frontal zones and the tropopause. This effort will be transition to use of the FV3 global dynamic core, but with similar experimental physics used currently with FIM. Development of improved representation of clouds and boundary layer and data assimilation to improve HRRR and RAP for applications for severe weather prediction and for the aviation/transportation community and for renewable energy, including ongoing wind and solar energy projects for the Department of Energy and NOAA, to improve energy management toward more efficient use of renewable energy.



James EP, Benjamin SG: Observation system experiments with the hourly-updating Rapid Refresh (RAP) Model using GSI hybrid-ensemble/variational (3d) data assimilation. Monthly Weather Review 145: 2017,

Benjamin SG, Weygandt SS, Hu M, Alexander CA, Smirnova TG, Olson JB, Brown JM, James E, Dowell DC, Grell GA, Lin H, Peckham SE, Smith TL, W.R. Moninger WR, Manikin GS: A North American hourly assimilation and model forecast cycle: The Rapid Refresh. Monthly Weather Review 144: 1669-1694, 2016.

Smirnova TG, Brown JM, Benjamin SG: Modifications to the Land Surface Model in the transition from the Rapid Update Cycle (RUC) to the WRF-based Rapid Refresh (RAP). Monthly Weather Review 144: 1851-1865, 2016.


key words
Data assimilation; Numerical weather prediction; Cloud assimilation; Radar assimilation; Land-atmosphere interaction; Subseasonal prediction;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and non-U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$60,000.00 $2,000.00

$5000 supplement for PhD in Atmospheric Modeling

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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