Provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA

Model description

The GFDL eXperimental System for High-resolution prediction on Earth-to-Local Domains (X-SHiELD) is a global cloud-resolving configuration of the SHiELD unified modeling system. It couples the nonhydrostatic GFDL Finite-Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core (FV3) to a modified form of the physics from the Global Forecast System (GFS).

X-SHiELD is part of the Unified Forecast System (UFS) of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A complete list of reference articles can be found at .

Experiment runs

GFDL X-SHiELD 3.0km atmosphere-only



containing the grid file /atmos/fx/gn/


Atmosphere-only, with the Noah-MP Land Surface Model

  • X-SHiELD configures FV3 with a horizontal grid spacing of approximately 3.25km, using a C3072 gnomonic cubed-sphere grid with 56,623,104 grid columns (3072x3072x6), and 79 vertical levels with a constant 3-hPa top.

  • The atmosphere is initialized from IFS analyses for 00Z on 20 January 2020. The land surface (soil temperature, soil moisture, soil type, vegetation type, surface roughness, surface albedo, etc.) is initialized from GFS analyses for the same time.

  • X-SHiELD uses a mixed-layer ocean model (Pollard et al. 1973, JMR) nudged towards analyzed ECMWF SSTs.

  • The Noah-MP Land Surface Model was used with GFDL 2021 updates and EMC high-resolution surface inputs.

  • More details of the used model components are given at

  • See the related publication by Cheng et al. (2022, Preprint)

Data description:

SHiELD 3km

Contact person:

Lucas Harris (NOAA), Kai-Yuan Cheng (NOAA) and Alex Kaltenbaugh (NOAA)

See also