A pilot WRF user group at NERSC


New member
Dear colleagues,

On behalf of NERSC User Group Executive Committee (NUGEX), I'd like to ask for your participation and feedback for a pilot "WRF User Group" at NERSC.

In recent NUGEX monthly meetings, we had discussions on a growing interest in forming user groups on common topics to exchange information. Potential topics include Machine Learning, graduate student users, Fortran, Python, and other popular applications at NERSC (e.g., https://docs.nersc.gov/applications/).
The Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) is ranked within the top codes at NERSC (34th in 2018 workload analysis). The model is often used for studies on Climate/Earth System, which is also among the top research topics at NERSC. Therefore we envision that a great number of NERSC users using WRF can improve their research productivity by sharing information and data. For example, WRF user group members can exchange model and workflow optimizations, benchmarking results on NERSC systems, share solutions for compile/run-time problems, share common input data files, peer-review each other's analysis codes, and inform research articles and dataset using WRF for potential collaborations. To assist communication among members, NUGEX suggested NERSC to provide several tools: Slack channel, regular virtual meetings, dedicated web resources including a NERSC documentation page for WRF. Members of NUGEX and NERSC user support will join the user group as well.

These are preliminary ideas from NUGEX. And we'd like to hear what you think.

We are aware of other climate models being used at NERSC, but we consider WRF is a good candidate for this pilot user group. Its build & run scripts are generally simple, making it easier for users to implement NERSC best practices (https://docs.nersc.gov/jobs/best-practices/) and other workflow optimizations. The level of technical support is another reason. For example, another commonly used model E3SM is supported for DOE systems including NERSC, so technical issues are typically resolved by E3SM software engineers working with the NERSC user support.

We are also aware that further development of WRF is not planned and it is not clear if there will be official efforts to port the WRF code to a GPU-based architecture. This situation makes it even more important to communicate among NERSC users to discuss how to continue running WRF on next generation systems at NERSC and possible alternative models for the future use.

If you are interested, please sign up on the linked google spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1u4wonY_LpRsF2teYEOf1tsBA4Me3fa9RDYkaYpT2c2c/edit?usp=sharing). A pilot slack channel has been created and you can join from this link https://nerscusers.slack.com/archives/C03E4P8NU7M. If there is enough interest, we'd like to have a virtual meeting to discuss the potential of such a user group and how we can further enhance its utility, and kick off the pilot user group.

Please contact Koichi.Sakaguchi@pnnl.gov if you have any questions.

Best regards,

Koichi Sakaguchi

Research Scientist
Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
NERSC User Group Executive Committee (NUGEX)