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Extension of the Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System (AMPS)

The goals of the AMPS project are:

  • Continue to provide real-time mesoscale and synoptic forecast products tailored to meet the needs of U.S. Antarctic Program weather forecasters at McMurdo Station, Antarctica
  • Develop and incorporate a new 3DVAR data assimilation system into AMPS
  • Assess and improve model physical parameterizations for polar regions and incorporate these into the Polar MM5 mesoscale model
  • Perform qualitative and quantitative verification of AMPS forecasts, data assimilation techniques, and physics modifications to evaluate the accuracy of the system and its revisions and to identify future areas for model improvement
  • Continue to stimulate close collaboration between forecasters, modelers, and researchers by making the forecast system, model products, and raw output available to the community through a web interface, an archive, and an annual Antarctic NWP and Forecasting Workshop

Contribution to this project by members of the Polar Climate and Meteorology group at the University of Colorado will address issues of model verification, with a goal of highlighting areas of model physics that require further refinement. The model verification will use an artificial neural network technique known as self-organizing maps (SOMs). This analysis will be used to classify the multi-year time series of model output into clusters of weather patterns. Model validation for the different weather patterns will be conducted, and provide guidance to forecasters regarding model skill for particular weather patterns.

NSF logoThis research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Related links

Antarctic Mesoscale Prediction System
Ross Island Meteorology   Experiment

Project Participants

University of Colorado
John Cassano
Mark Seefeldt (
Melissa Nigro ( Melissa.Richards@Colorado.EDU)

National Center for Atmospheric Research
Ying-Hwa Kuo (
Jordan Powers (

Ohio State University
David Bromwich