About Us

About Us

Sorbonne University Atmospheric Forecasting System (SUAFS) is an integrated combination of advanced models able to provide detailed weather desert forecasts on various temporal scales over the Arabian Peninsula and UAE areas. The entire set of products is obtained from the Chemical, Hydrological, Atmospheric and Ocean System (CHAOS) developed by the Atmosphere and Climate Dynamics Group (ACDG) at Harokopio University of Athens (HUA), Greece (Katsafados et al., Geo. Mod. Dev., 2016; Varlas et al., Atmos. Res., 2018). The system is installed and configured in a high performance cluster hosted in SUAD. The following predictions are currently made by SUAFS:

  • Weather forecast for 72 hrs. ahead (3 days)
  • Desert dust forecast for 72 hrs. ahead (3 days)

CHAOS atmospheric component is based on WRF-ARW model which is a reliable modeling system with high computational efficiency for the simulation of atmospheric processes (e.g. convective systems, synoptic and sub-synoptic circulation etc.). Its operational execution is performed over a single domain consisted of 525x469 grid points, on 9x9 km horizontal resolution, with time step of 48sec and 38 vertical levels up to 25mb. USGS DEM database (30x30sec) is used for the topography, 24 categories of the USGS (30x30sec) are used for the definition of the vegetation types, and 16 categories of the FAO (30x30sec) for the determination of soil type. Real-time global (rtg) data is used for the sea surface temperature on a 0.083°x0.083° resolution. Initial and boundary conditions are derived from the GFS/NCEP forecasting system on a 0.5°x0.5° resolution. Appropriate algorithms have been developed in order to produce the primitive model outputs on GRIB/GRIB2/NETCDF format. The GOCART (Georgia Tech/Goddard Global Ozone Chemistry Aerosol Radiation and Transport model, Chin et al., JGR, 2000) aerosol module that is used has a sectional scheme for dust, providing forecast for five particle-size bins: 0.5, 1.4, 2.4, 4.5, 8.0 μm effective radius. The model produces a 72-hour (3 days) dust forecasts (near surface dust concentration, total dust load and dust dry deposition) covering the SE Europe, Middle East and the Saudi Arabia peninsula. The dust sources are primarily derived from the clay and sand fraction databases.

Chin, M., R. B. Rood, S.-J. Lin, J.-F. Müller, and A. M. Thompson (2000), Atmospheric sulfur cycle simulated in the global model GOCART: Model description and global properties, J. Geophys. Res., 105(D20), 24671–24687, doi:10.1029/2000JD900384. Katsafados, P., Papadopoulos, A., Korres, G., Varlas, G., 2016. A fully coupled atmosphere–ocean wave modeling system for the Mediterranean Sea: interactions and sensitivity to the resolved scales and mechanisms. Geosci. Model Dev. 9(1), 161-173. doi: 10.5194/gmd-9-161-2016 Varlas, G., Katsafados, P., Papadopoulos, A., & Korres, G. (2018). Implementation of a two-way coupled atmosphere-ocean wave modeling system for assessing air-sea interaction over the Mediterranean Sea. Atmospheric Research. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2017.08.019.