WRF 2017 Major Release

WRF Release Information

The latest WRF release is Version 3.8.1 (August 2016), and details on it may be found at WRF V3.8.1.

The next major WRF release will be Version 3.9 and is targeted for Spring 2017. Some of the potential features for the release are as follows, but the ultimate inclusion of any candidate item is dependent on its timely preparation and final acceptance. The timeline for the release is given further below.

  • Dynamics: Hybrid vertical coordinate
  • Software: PIO build, OpenMP updates
  • Physics: P3 microphysics scheme, MSKF Cu scheme aerosol-cloud interactions, Goddard radiation and microphysics updates, NSSL microphysics updates, WENO advection mods, Noah-MP coupled with urban models, New LSM datasets (crop, groundwater, albedo)
  • WRFDA: 4D-EnVar capability, AMSR cloudy radiance obs, Null echo radar assimilation, Large-scale analysis constraint
  • WRF-Chem: New TUV photolysis scheme
  • WRF-Hydro: Multiple time scale capability, New level pool scheme, New bucket model, Netcdf output for baseflow bucket model
  • HWRF: 2016 Operational changes, Idealized TC capability, G-F Cu scheme

Developers seeking to propose code for new or improved capabilities for the WRF system must review Information for Code Contributors. Prospective contributors may write to wrfhelp@ucar.edu for information and for contacting the Developers' Committee (which oversees WRF contributions and manages the repository) or the Release Committee (which oversees the major release process). Both the Developers' Committee and the Release Committee are described in WRF Code Repository and Release Administration.

The consideration of any code for the WRF repository or a release depends on the developer's following the physics review procedures, meeting the testing and documentation requirements, and meeting preparation requirements and the release schedule. Developers should familiarize themselves with Information for Code Contributors. Developers and contributors may contact wrfhelp@ucar.edu for information on how to prepare and provide their code.


Timeline— 2017 WRF Major Release

The timeline for the next major WRF release, scheduled for Spring 2017, is as follows. "RC" refers to the Release Committee; "DC" refers to the Developers' Committee.

Early September 2016

  • RC begins meetings for major release cycle.
  • Initial release picture compiled and schedule set.

December 2017

Code accepted and admitted to the repository is eligible (but not guaranteed) to be included in the release. Code submissions must undergo all preliminary testing and acceptance by the end of December in order to be considered for the release. A release branch of the code will then be cut off and will be the basis for the release code. While the WRF repository will remain open to submissions after this time (as the repository is open throughout the year), new additions will not be eligible for the release branch.


January 2017

Release code testing and first friendly-use release

  • Only bugfixes for preliminary release code permitted.
  • WRF repository remains open for code additions, which may be considered for releases after the 2017 major release.
  • First friendly-user release— preliminary code made available for testing.

Late February 2017

  • Second friendly-user release— revised preliminary code made available for testing.
  • Remaining bug fixes implemented.
  • Full set of regression tests run on machines at NCAR.

March 2017

  • Final round of large testing. RC and DC meetings focus on remaining code needs, testing, and final preparation.

April 2017

  • DC certifies code (final approval) for release. Code packaged and staged for release.
  • Release and notification to WRF users.

Release Committee

The WRF Release Committee oversees the major releases of WRF. It is described in the policies for NCAR's administration of the WRF code in WRF Code Repository and Release Administration. The members are listed below.

Jordan Powers, NCAR/MMM— Chairman
Ravan Ahmadov, NOAA/ESRL
Michael Barlage, NCAR/RAL
Mrinal Biswas, DTC
Laurie Carson, DTC
Jimy Dudhia, NCAR/MMM
Dave Gill, NCAR/MMM
Michael Kavulich, NCAR/MMM
Steven Peckham, CRREL
Wei Wang, NCAR/MMM
Wei Yu, NCAR/RAL