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Climate Forecast System Version 2 (CFSv2)

An animated image of CFSR global atmospheric precipitable water for March 1–15, 1993, in 12-hourly intervals. (One-hourly CFSR data was down-sampled to every 12 hours to keep image size down.) This image was produced with the Grid Analysis and Display System and ImageMagick.

The Climate Forecast System Version 2 (CFSv2), also referred to as just the Climate Forecast System (CFS), is a model representing the global interaction between the Earth's oceans, land, and atmosphere. Produced by several dozen scientists under guidance from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), this model offers hourly data with a horizontal resolution down to one-half of a degree (approximately 56km) around the Earth for many variables. CFSv2 uses the latest scientific approaches for taking in, or assimilating, observations from data sources including surface observations, upper air balloon observations, aircraft observations, and satellite observations.

Reanalysis and Reforecasting

The Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) was an effort to generate a uniform, continuous, and best-estimate record of the state of the ocean–atmosphere interaction for use in climate monitoring and diagnostics. The reanalysis method kept the model’s software constant and ran the model retrospectively from January 1979 through March 2011.

A global plot of CFSR near-surface winds on March 12, 1993 at 00 UTC. This image was produced by downloading a subset of CFSR data through the NOMADS THREDDS Data Server then visualizing with NASA’s Panoply visualization tool.

In addition to the reanalysis efforts, the CFSv2 model was used to generate a reforecast of past weather forecasts. Reforecasts help scientists better understand the model's ability to produce accurate weather forecasts. CFS Reforecast data were used to generate Calibration Climatologies for use with the operational CFSv2 forecasts of seasonal weather. Together, the CFSR and the CFS Reforecast data are known as the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis and Reforecast (CFSRR).

The operational CFSv2 analysis continues the dataset from April 2011 to present.

Data Access

Over 500 terabytes of CFSv2 data, along with multiple derived products are available through NOAA's National Operational Model Archive and Distribution System (NOMADS).