AMS Short Course: Simplifying End-to-end Numerical Modeling using Software Containers

Saturday, 6 January 2018, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Austin Convention Center 17B



The AMS Short Course on Simplifying end-to-end numerical modeling using software containers will be held on 6 January 2018 preceding the 98th AMS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.

Software systems require substantial set-up to get all the necessary code, including external libraries, compiled on a specific platform. Recently, the concept of containers has been gaining popularity because they allow for software systems to be bundled (including operating system, libraries, code, and executables) and provided directly to users, eliminating possible frustrations with up-front system setup. This course will provide information on using software containers that have been established for community use to quickly spin up an Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) forecast system [using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model] that can then be post-processed [using the Unified Post Processor (UPP)] and verified [using the Model Evaluation Tools (MET)]. Ultimately, the established containers substantially reduce the spin-up time with setting up and compiling software systems and promote greater efficiency in getting to the end goal of producing model output and statistical analyses.

The goal of this course is to raise awareness about tools and facilities available to the community for testing and evaluating of (NWP) innovations, including the emerging set of software tools in Docker containers.

While this course may appeal to a wide-reaching audience, this information may be particularly useful to undergraduate and graduate students interested in learning more about NWP and to university faculty that may find software containers to be a useful teaching tool to add to their course curriculum. In addition, researchers who wish to collaborate with others may find these tools useful for sharing a code base and replicating procedures even if they are not working on the same platform.

The format of the course will consist of a general overview of the NWP system components available in Docker containers (e.g., WPS/WRF, UPP, MET, METViewer) provided followed by the opportunity for participants to conduct hands-on learning exercises by running an end-to-end NWP system through specific usage examples with Docker containers.

Requirements: Laptop (Mac or Windows) with Docker installed (instructions to be provided prior to course). Introductory knowledge of numerical weather prediction. Basic UNIX proficiency.

The instructors for the course include Jamie Wolff, Tara Jensen, Kate Fossell, and John Halley Gotway from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO.

For more information please contact J. Wolff at National Center for Atmospheric Research, 3450 Mitchell Ln, Boulder, CO  80301 (tel: 303-497-2812; email:

Short Course/Workshop Registration

All short course/workshop attendees must register and wear a badge/ribbon. Short course/workshop registration is not included in the 98th Annual Meeting registration, and short course/workshop registration does not include registration for the 98th AMS Annual Meeting.

view registration rates