Frequently Asked Questions
What's the best way to get support?
Go to our support page to ask a question or submit a bug report.
Do you have an online forum?
I can't connect to the computer with WRF installed on it using WRF Portal (since it uses token cards or does some SSH redirection). How can I run WRF Portal?
In this case, just install WRF Portal on the remote "WRF" computer. Then SSH to that computer with the -X option (-Y for Mac). This will forward back the graphics using X Windows, and as far as WRF Portal is concerned, you are running with a local computer connection (no WRF Portal SSH required). Here is a tutorial showing how to do this.
I can't seem to view NetCDF files in Panoply since I get an error message about downloading Panoply jar file. What do I do?
Here are instructions for manually downloading/installing Panoply.
What is WRF?
The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is a next-generation mesocale numerical weather prediction system designed to serve both operational forecasting and atmospheric research needs. It features multiple dynamical cores, a 3-dimensional variational (3DVAR) data assimilation system, and a software architecture allowing for computational parallelism and system extensibility. WRF is suitable for a broad spectrum of applications across scales ranging from meters to thousands of kilometers. You can download it from here.
What is the External Workflow Manager?
The External Workflow Manager requires Ruby to run. Since it runs on the server on which WRF is installed, even if you shut down WRF Portal, it continues running and monitoring your jobs. It is also more robust (it can resubmit jobs on failure). You must have SGE or LSF installed in order to use the external workflow manager. You can download the external workflow manager and read documentation about it here.
How do I install and run WPS and WRF?
WRF ARW Online Tutorial (how to install and run WPS and WRF)
WRF/WPS User's Guide for version 3
User's Guide to WPS and WRF 2.x (PDF version)
Download WRF 2.x Model Test Data (January 2000 30 km data, June 2001 10 km data)
Download WRF 3 (plus model test data) and WPS 3 (plus input data / grib files)
namelist.input options (documentation)
What is WRF Portal?
WRF Portal is a Java webstart GUI application that simplifies the configuring and running of WRF models, and it includes a WRF Domain Wizard that allows you to graphically select/define your domain and run WPS. WRF Portal runs on all platforms and can be accessed from this page. It also includes an internal workflow manager and an optional, server side workflow manager program (written in Ruby) that manages and executes the jobs created by the portal.
Where Can I Get The Source Code?
Download it from here
How Many Users of the Software Are There?
How do I use WRF Portal and WRF Domain Wizard?
How much does it cost?
WRF Portal and WRF Domain Wizard are free.
What do I need on my system to run WRF Portal?
You'll need a Java runtime environment (JRE) version 1.5 or later, at least 390MB of free RAM, as well as a 1024 x 768 (or better) display. Java 6 (1.6) is recommended.
What is the "Security Warning" that comes up the first time I run the application?
There are several features of WRF Portal and WRF Domain Wizard which require access to your system and network. To save and open data, they need access to your local disk drive. These are the kinds of things applications do all of the time without warning you.
To ensure that you are downloading the real WRF Portal or WRF Domain Wizard and not a malicious application, the executable files are signed to authenticate them. The warning is Java Web Start's way of telling you that you are downloading an application that requires access to your system, and asking you to verify the application is coming from where you expect it.
Why do I need administrator privileges to install Java Web Start on Windows?
Java Web Start needs to register the MIME type of its launch file with the system registry. MIME types are mappings used to find the correct application to handle particular file types. MIME stands for "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions." It is a standard across the internet.
Java Web Start's MIME entry identifies it as the application to launch to handle Java Web Start applications like the Flight Path Tool. The MIME type applies whenever you try to open or browse to a file with the ".jnlp" extension which identifies itself as an "application/x-java-jnlp-file."
Why does Java Web Start say the jar file is corrupted?
Some web filtering products used on Microsoft Windows, such as NetNanny and certain firewall programs, corrupt the digital signatures on downloaded application files. This makes the downloaded files appear to have been tampered with. For security reasons, Java Web Start then refuses to run the downloaded application. The only solution is to turn off the offending software, clear your Java Web Start cache, and re-launch WRF Portal or Domain Wizard.
Why can't I start WRF Portal or WRF Domain Wizard in my browser?
If WRF Domain Wizard won't start after you click the "launch" link above, you probably don't have Java installed on your computer. The software requires Java 1.5 or later to be installed on your desktop computer in order to run. Java 6 (or 1.6) is highly recommended for performance reasons. You can download the free Java Runtime Environment (JRE) here. Just download the JRE, install it, and then click the "launch" link (above) again.
If Java is installed on your desktop computer and yet the "launch" link still doesn't work, then Java Web Start isn't configured correctly on your computer's web browser. Here is a tutorial on how to launch the application in Firefox (should also be similar for other browsers)..
What language(s) are WRF Portal and WRF Domain Wizard written in?
The programs are written in Java and the external (server side) workflow manager is written in Ruby. WRF Portal stores its information in an HSQL (or mySQL) database.
Who developed WRF Portal and WRF Domain Wizard?
The Advanced Computing Group of NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) developed WRF Portal. See the About page.
How is WRF Portal installed?
See the documentation here.
What is NOAA?
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce).