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NOAA Rapid Refresh Forecast System (RRFS) [Prototype]

agriculture climate meteorological weather


The Rapid Refresh Forecast System (RRFS) is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) next generation convection-allowing, rapidly-updated ensemble prediction system, currently scheduled for operational implementation in 2024. The operational configuration will feature a 3 km grid covering North America and include deterministic forecasts every hour out to 18 hours, with deterministic and ensemble forecasts to 60 hours four times per day at 00, 06, 12, and 18 UTC.The RRFS will provide guidance to support forecast interests including, but not limited to, aviation, severe convective weather, renewable energy, heavy precipitation, and winter weather on timescales where rapidly-updated guidance is particularly useful.

The RRFS is underpinned by the Unified Forecast System (UFS), a community-based Earth modeling initiative, and benefits from collaborative development efforts across NOAA, academia, and research institutions.

This bucket provides access to real time, experimental RRFS prototype output.

The real-time RRFS prototype is experimental and evolving. It is not under 24x7 monitoring and is not operational. Output may be delayed or missing. Outputs will change. When significant changes to output take place, this description will be updated.

We currently provide hourly deterministic forecasts at 3 km grid spacing out to 60 hours at 00, 06, 12, and 18 UTC, and out to 18 hours for other cycles. Output is organized by cycle date and cycle hour.For example, rrfs_a/rrfs_a.20230428/12/control contains the deterministic forecast initialized at 12 UTC on 28 April 2023. Users will find two types of output in GRIB2 format. The first is:


Meaning that this is the RRFS_A initialized at 00 UTC, covers the CONUS domain, and is the native level post-processed gridded data at hour 18. This output is on a Lambert Conic Conformal gird at 3 km grid spacing.

The second output file in grib2 format is:


The “prslev” descriptor indicates that this post-processed gridded data is output on pressure levels.For users interested in other domains, output is provided on the full 3-km North American grid and also subset over Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The files are identified as follows:

North America: rrfs.t00z.prslev.f002.grib2 Alaska: rrfs.t00z.prslev.f002.ak.grib2 Hawaii: rrfs.t00z.prslev.f002.hi.grib2 Puerto Rico:

Beginning on December 8th, 2023 we now provide prototype RRFSv1 ensemble output and products. Output is available for 00, 06, 12, and 18 UTC cycles, and is organized by cycle date and cycle hour. For example, rrfs_a/rrfs_a.20231214/00/mem0001 contains the forecast from member 1, and rrfs_a/rrfs_a.20231214/00/enspost_timelag contains the ensemble products.

Update Frequency



Open Data. There are no restrictions on the use of this data.


Managed By

See all datasets managed by NOAA.


For any questions regarding data delivery or any general questions regarding the NOAA Open Data Dissemination (NODD) Program, email the NODD Team at
We also seek to identify case studies on how NOAA data is being used and will be featuring those stories in joint publications and in upcoming events. If you are interested in seeing your story highlighted, please share it with the NODD team by emailing

How to Cite

NOAA Rapid Refresh Forecast System (RRFS) [Prototype] was accessed on DATE from

Usage Examples


Resources on AWS

  • Description
    Rapid Refresh Forecast System (RRFS) Data
    Resource type
    S3 Bucket
    Amazon Resource Name (ARN)
    AWS Region
    AWS CLI Access (No AWS account required)
    aws s3 ls --no-sign-request s3://noaa-rrfs-pds/
    Browse Bucket
  • Description
    New data notifications for RRFS, only Lambda and SQS protocols allowed
    Resource type
    SNS Topic
    Amazon Resource Name (ARN)
    AWS Region

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