UFS Physics Workshop


The 2nd Annual UFS Physics Workshop

July 9-12, 2024 | NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory | Norman, Oklahoma


Accurate representation of atmospheric convection is of central importance in NOAA's Unified Forecast System (UFS) applications, which cover a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.

In recent years, many improvements have been made to the convection parameterization schemes used in different UFS applications. They have contributed to the improvement of UFS’ forecast skills through the reduction of overall biases in physics. However, a significant error source of various UFS applications still lies in the representation of convection in the UFS physics suites.

About the 2024 Workshop

July 9-12, 2024

NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory • Norman, Oklahoma

In-person or virtual

This year’s workshop will follow up on the 2023 UFS Physics Workshop to address the ongoing need for improving the representation of convection in the UFS by understanding the current status, and discussing and sharing the latest scientific advancements from the international convection parameterization research community and operational numerical prediction centers to improve the representation of convection in the UFS.

The 2023 Annual UFS Physics Workshop focused on improving cloud microphysics parameterization schemes in the UFS.

Travel Information

Information on local hotel and transportation options in Norman, Oklahoma, as well as important flight booking information for federal employees, can found in the NSSL Visitor Information guide (PDF, 69 KB).

Workshop Topics

This workshop welcomes talks on the following broad areas of interest:

  • Advanced convection parameterization frameworks and representation of convection across different temporal and spatial scales, particularly in the gray zone
  • Macrophysical and microphysical coupling of convective clouds
  • Coupling of convection with planetary boundary layer (PBL) processes
  • Observations and techniques for convection parameterization evaluation
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) techniques for improving or surrogating convection parameterization schemes based on the mass-flux formulation

Planned Speakers

The following individuals have accepted invitations to speak at the workshop:

Speaker Affiliation About
Peter Bechtold European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Bio
Saulo Freitas Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climáticos (CPTEC), Brazil N/A
Jean-Marcel Piriou Meteo-France, France N/A
Robert Plant University of Reading, UK Bio
Dave Randall Colorado State University, USA Bio
Mirjana Sakradzija Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany N/A
Alison Stirling Met Office, UK Bio
Guang Zhang Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA Bio

Recap of the 2023 Workshop

The 1st Annual UFS Physics workshop held in May 2023 provided a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in cloud microphysics research and provided a platform for scientists, researchers and students with interest in UFS physics development to exchange ideas and collaborate on new UFS physics development projects.

The workshop featured oral presentations on state-of-the-art research and development that helped address questions about how best to parameterize physical processes and represent the hydrological, radiative, and dynamical impacts of clouds and precipitation across an increasing range of UFS applications, from the global to the convective scales.

The scope of presentations and breakout discussions included the following important themes relevant to the transition of research to operation in the UFS development:

  1. What is the minimal complexity in cloud and precipitation microphysics parameterizations required for all operational UFS applications?
  2. Is a unification in the UFS cloud and precipitation microphysics parameterizations possible for all operational UFS applications?
  3. How do we efficiently and consistently represent the microphysical impacts of sub- grid heterogeneous clouds across all UFS applications, particularly in the “gray zone”?
  4. How do we efficiently and consistently represent aerosol-cloud interactions in convection and microphysics parameterizations?
  5. How do we evaluate and improve the operational forecast of mixed-phase clouds, especially in the mid- and high-latitudes?
  6. How do we use observations to diagnose/evaluate and constrain parameterized cloud and precipitation processes in the UFS?
  7. What should be included in a research-grade version of the UFS microphysics scheme?

Overall, the first UFS Physics Workshop offered a unique opportunity for participants to expand their knowledge about the needs for the microphysical aspect of cloud and precipitation physics development in the UFS, and to connect with other researchers in the field. It provided participants with the opportunity to reach a consensus on a list of recommendations to the UFS project offices and community for further microphysics development in the UFS.


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On This Page
About the Workshop
Workshop Topics
Planned Speakers
2023 Workshop Recap
Workshop Organizers
Jian-Wen Bao, NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory |
Lisa Bengtsson, NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory |
Ligia Bernardet, NOAA Global Systems Laboratory |
DaNa Carlis, NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory |
James Doyle, Naval Research Laboratory |
Jeremy Gibbs, NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory |
Georg Grell, NOAA Global Systems Laboratory |
Jongil Han, NOAA/NWS Environmental Modeling Center |
Sungsu Park, Seoul National University |
Stefan Tulich, CU/CIRES - NOAA Physical Sciences Laboratory |
Fanglin Yang, NOAA/NWS Environmental Modeling Center |