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To improve useability and communication, COMET has decided to replaced the old GFS and NAM-Eta newsgroups with an interactive discussion forum. Users can opt to receive email notification of the subject line for all posts in a particular forum or all responses in a particular thread. The forums provide users of National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) NWP models a place to interact and discuss the architecture, products, and performance of NCEP models. NWP forums include:

Of particular importance in this time of transition for NCEP mesoscale modeling is the parallel NAM-WRF, comparisons to the operational (as of March 2006) NAM-Eta, case examples of interesting forecast problems and how they were forecast by the respective NAM models, and general questions regarding the new NAM-WRF.

As with the old newsgroups, the NWP Discussion forum complements COMET online NWP materials. Stephen Jascourt and Bill Bua, COMET meteorologists near/at NCEP, will monitor the forums and answer questions, though we also hope forum users will be able to have productive discussions among each other in the forum, benefiting all readers. Quick submission of questions about cases of peculiar model behavior will help us sequester data before it is moved to archives.

Instructions: What's Different Compared to the Newsgroups?

The MetEd NWP Discussion Forum is inspired by the RUC-13 Forum, but uses the JForum software package. You don't need the JForum software to participate in the forum.

Becoming a Member

The place to start for the MetEd NWP Discussion Forum is the topics list (click the highlighted text to open the web page). A portion of this page can be found in the graphic below. To join the forum, simply click on the checked box next to the Register item in the heading highlighted in red. You'll also note that the general topics (green), who is online in the forum (blue, current status), a login area (purple), and other items can be found on this page.

After registration, you should be able to follow the instructions to log into the NWP Discussion Forum.

Working With the Discussion Forum Interface: Choosing a Topic in a Forum

If you click on one of the discussion forums on the list page, a web page looking like the screen capture below will appear. We can view the topics, comments, author, number of views, and last message added to the topic (including time and date) on this page. To open a particular topic, click on its name which can be found where noted (existing model topics). A new topic can also be added via either of the new topic buttons (highlighted in red) on the left. However, note the caveats below for new registrants!

You will be able to post replies in the topic areas immediately after registration. However, you won't be able to post New Topics until Forum administrators move you over to the "Registered NWP Users" group. This should take no more than a day or so from the time you register, and will allow us to monitor the Forum for spammers to minimize disruption.

To get e-mail notification of additional topics and messages to a forum, click the link highlighted in green on the screen capture. The link toggles between "Watch" and "Unwatch" this forum, and the current status of notification for the particular topic and user is shown. In the case below, notification of new topics and messages in the GFS/global models forum is turned on.

When you either add a new topic or create a message to answer or comment on an existing topic, a window like the one screen captured below will appear. The screen capture is annotated, and where the text of the message is placed, explanations of the different buttons appear. One nice feature of the Discussion Forum is that graphics can be added to messages in the forum to illustrate points or bring up problems, including forecast graphics, through upload or through insertion of links within the message itself.

Note: You should only insert a URL to link an image to a message if the linked graphic will not be overwritten or deleted by a new forecast cycle, and it is the intention of the messager to leave a static image!

This should be enough to get you started in the NWP Discussion Forum. Contact Ken Kim if you need more help getting set up to use the forum, via e-mail as found below.

Ground Rules

We encourage insightful, specific questions from the entire COMET community including university and military meteorologists. However, we are not here to help students do their synoptic lab homework! Priority will be on operational needs. When existing online materials appear to answer a question, a link will be provided and we'll be happy to answer follow-up questions after you have read that material.

Help! It's not working...

If you are having technical difficulties using the MetEd NWP Discussion Forum, questions can be sent to the webmaster:

Ken Kim (webmaster@comet.ucar.edu).

The JForum website, while potentially helpful, is more geared to developers than to users.

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