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WRF Preprocessing System Version 2

**Note: WPS has been updated from Version 2 to Version 3. This page is left here for reference purposes only. Please see Version 3 if you are interested in building WPS. Please also note that the links to the left-hand side are for the Version 2 Users' Guide. For the Version 3 Users' Guide, please click here.**


The WRF Preprocessing System (WPS) is a new software introduced in WRF V2.2, to replace the existing WRF SI. The WPS fulfills many of the same functions as the SI for WRF V2.1.2 (and previous versions of WRF). The static fields and grid domains are specified in the first program, geogrid (analagous to the SI gridgen program). The external analysis and forecast data are decoded from the Grib format with the ungrib program in WPS (similar to the grib_prep program in SI). The final program in the WPS suite is the metgrid program, which horizontally interpolates the data from ungrib (similar to the hinterp program in SI). The vertical interpolation has been moved to the real program under WRF.

Users should expect similar, but not identical results when comparing WPS output with SI output.

Supported Functions


- single or multiple domain configuration
- variable resolution input for terrestrial fields: 30", 2', 5', and 10'
- a simple format to input user-provided data sets
- 4-point, 16-point, nearest grid, masked and mass conserved-interpolation
- map projections:

* polar stereographic
* Lambert-conformal
* Mercator

- output is WRF I/O API conforming
- easy way to add new data types
- serial or MPI processing


- Grib 1 and 2 support
- write to WPS, SI, and MM5 intermediate formats
- file name extension up to minutes and seconds
- support of native and hybrid Grib data


- multiple domain processing
- 4-point, 16-point, nearest grid, masked and mass conserved-interpolation
- output is WRF I/O API conforming
- serial, or MPI processing

I/O Option

- netCDF, most common. Works with all supported graphics.
- GriB 1
- patch writing

Utility Programs

- map grids
- grib 1 and grib 2 data reader
- intermediate file reader
- removal of data levels
- calculation of averaged surface temp (for use in 5-layer soil model option)

Platforms it runs on

- IBM: Power5/Power4 (e.g. NCAR bluevista/bluesky systems)
- SGI: Origin 2000, Altix
- Linux: PGI, Intel and g95 compilers
- Compaq: personal workstation, ES40
- Sun (serial)
- Apple: G5/xlf

GUI (Developed by NOAA/ESRL/GSD)

WRF Domain Wizard is a java-based graphical interface (GUI) for WPS, the successor to the WRFSI GUI. It enables users to define model domain by graphically selecting a region on an image of the Earth and choosing a map projection. The user can also define nests using the nests editor and execute the WPS programs (geogrid, ungrib, and metgrid) from within the GUI.

WRF Domain Wizard is run using Java Web Start. Java Web Start is an application-deployment technology that automatically downloads your software then launches (runs) the application.

See for WRF Domain Wizard software and documentation.

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