OpenIFShome brings together two powerful tools: OpenIFS, an easy-to-use, supported version of ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System (IFS) widely used in research and education; and (CPDN) at the University of Oxford, a highly successful volunteer computing project that has been running since 2003.

See the results from the initial study where thousands of volunteer personal computers simulated slightly different realisations of the tropical storm Karl to demonstrate the performance of the large ensemble forecast.

Weather forecasting requires powerful computer systems and state-of-the-art computer models. The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts’ Integrated Forecast System (IFS) is one of the world’s leading weather forecasting models. A version of their model, OpenIFS, is available to universities and research institutes for teaching and research.  As well as producing a 10-day weather forecast from the best estimate of the current weather, a large number of slightly different forecast scenarios, known as an ensemble, are created to allow a measure of certainty on the forecast to be provided.

Through OpenIFS@home it is now possible to run a slightly different weather forecast on many hundreds or thousands of volunteer computers, making it possible to ask questions such as how predictable certain events are, particularly damaging extreme events such as intense rain or wind. The OpenIFS@Home facility offers researchers a new tool to study weather forecasts and related questions

Scientists interested in using OpenIFS on CPDN should fill in the OpenIFShome new collaboration enquiry form on the CPDN website.