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A new NAM model covering continental United States

Mar 6, 2018. | By: Craig McPheeters

The USA National Weather Service provides a lot of weather information in the form of GRIB models. Of course, the NWS is the source of the well known GFS global model. Some of the other models available are: NAM, HRRR, RAP, along with others.

Some of these models come in more than one variation. In particular, NAM and RAP are available in a number of versions, covering different areas of North America.

NAM, the North America Mesoscale Forecast System, is meant to be one of the primary weather models for the USA. Here is a quote from their web page:

The North American Mesoscale Forecast System (NAM) is one of the primary vehicles by which NCEP’s Environmental Modeling Center provides mesoscale guidance to public and private sector meteorologists.

www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov

The term mesoscale refers to a weather model which is able to run at a resolution where local land features can be incorporated into the results. Mesoscale weather models are needed in order to generate more accurate local forecasts.

When the NAM weather model is run, there is a primary run which has the largest domain, and then what is referred to as a nest. A nest is a higher resolution limited area version of the model.

NAM has a nest which covers the Continental United States at a 3km resolution. This model is updated every 6 hours and is an excellent choice as a weather model for anyone covered by its area.

LuckGrib has added support for this high resolution version of NAM.

Thank you NOAA!

ps. There will be more models coming soon!

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