Provided by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), USA

Model description

MPAS is an atmospheric model that consists of an atmospheric fluid-flow solver (the dynamical core) and a subset of the Advanced Research WRF (ARW) model atmospheric physics. The dynamical core solves the fully compressible non-hydrostatic equations of motion. MPAS uses an unstructured centroidal Voronoi mesh (grid, or tessellation) and C-grid staggering of the state variable as the basis for the horizontal discretisation in the fluid-flow solver. For a more detailed description, see Skamarock et al. (2012).

MPAS is a community model and can be downloaded from

Experiment runs

NCAR ran 4 experiments, the nominal 3.75-km simulations and lower-resolution counterparts with resolutions of 7.5 km, 15 km, and 30 km.

MPAS 3.75km atmosphere-only


/work/bk1040/DYAMOND/data/winter_data/DYAMOND_WINTER/NCAR/MPAS-3km/DW-ATM/ (standardized data by DKRZ)

/work/bk1040/DYAMOND/.input_winter_data/MPAS_3.75km/ (non-standardized data) with grid data in


MPAS-Atmosphere coupled to a 1-D slab ocean model and NOAH land model.

  • 3.75 km (41943042 horizontal grid cells), 55 vertical levels with the model top at 30 km.

  • The sponge layer begins at 22 km.

  • The ocean and land models have the same horizontal resolution.

  • Initial SST are from the data provided by DYAMOND. SSTs and mixed layer currents are predicted by the 1-D ocean model.

  • The 1-D slab ocean model is a conventional bulk ocean mixed layer model based on the formulation of Pollard et al. (1973).

  • The NOAH land surface model is described in Niu et al. (2011).

  • The NOAH land model was initialized with soil temperature and soil moisture from the provided DYAMOND initial condition file.

Data description:

NCAR provide the same variables as for their DYAMOND summer contribution (see MPAS) plus the following ocean mixed layer variables in the ocean/ folder:

float t_oml(Time, nCells) ;
        t_oml:units = "K" ;
        t_oml:long_name = "ocean mixed layer temperature" ;
float h_oml(Time, nCells) ;
        h_oml:units = "m" ;
        h_oml:long_name = "ocean mixed layer depth" ;
float hu_oml(Time, nCells) ;
        hu_oml:units = "m^2 s^{-1}" ;
        hu_oml:long_name = "ocean mixed layer integrated u (zonal velocity)" ;
float hv_oml(Time, nCells) ;
        hv_oml:units = "m^2 s^{-1}" ;
        hv_oml:long_name = "ocean mixed layer integrated v (meridional velocity)" ;

Data description of the standardized data by DKRZ will come soon.

Contact person:

Falko Judt (UCAR) and Rosimar Rios-Berrios (UCAR)

See also