HAFS Enters Operations

Hurricane Analysis and Forecasting System (HAFS)

A major component of the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP) response to Section 104 of the Weather Research Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (Wx Act) was to progress and operationalize an advanced numerical prediction based hurricane model.

On June 27, 2023 the Hurricane Analysis and Forecasting System (HAFS) entered operational status on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Weather and Climate Operational Supercomputing System 2 (WCOSS2). The HAFS model is NOAA’s next generation hurricane forecast model which builds on the world class multiple moving nest skills developed by HFIP utilizing the Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model.

The NOAA core HFIP partnership and its ability to leverage community collaborations for HAFS decreased duplication of effort and streamlined the development processes allowing HAFS to go from concept to operations in approximately 5 years. NOAA’s NWS and NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) including NWS Environmental Modeling Center (EMC), OAR Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) Hurricane Modeling and Prediction Program and NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Marine & Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) jointly developed HAFS.

Additionally, HFIP’s strong community of hurricane researchers, atmospheric and physics modeling experts, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) Development Testbed Center (DTC) were heavily involved in technical skill development, code management, and testing.

These collaborations led to HAFS being the first ground-up regional coupled model to go into operations under the Unified Forecast System (UFS); due in part to utilization of atmospheric simulation capabilities from the Global Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core (FV3), the same core used in the U.S. Global Forecast System (GFS).

More information on HFIP plans and the continuing development of HAFS can be found in the HFIP Strategic Plan and the HAFS overview page