ALERTNESS: Advanced models and weather prediction in the Arctic: Enhanced capacity from observations and polar process representations (

To develop world leading capacity for the delivery of reliable and accurate Arctic weather forecasts and warnings for the benefit of maritime operations, business and society.


1. Develop and apply verification metrics and diagnostics for Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) in the Arctic

2. Improve use and assimilation of Arctic observations for NWP

3. Enhance and improve NWP model capabilities and diagnostics for high latitudes

4. Develop an Ensemble Prediction System optimized for Arctic conditions

 5. Improve polar prediction through the ALERTNESS value chain

Project Summary

High-impact weather conditions, rapid climate change and limited predictability make the Arctic a challenging operating environment leading to substantial business, societal and environmental risks. ALERTNESS
will meet this growing need for reliable and accurate weather predictions by addressing forecast challenges unique to the Arctic: availability and quality of observations, exploitation of satellite observations over snow
and ice, model uncertainty due to physics parameterisations, and specific high-impact weather situations. A new set of verification measures appropriate for Arctic will be developed and employed throughout the project to efficiently monitor progress and user needs. ALERTNESS will take advantage of several unique opportunities arising during the Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) to tackle long-standing issues in atmospheric models in polar environments: advance atmospheric and sea ice analysis in the Arctic using more and new observation types, optimize observation usage and implement state-of-the-art analysis techniques; enhance the representation of Arctic processes including a revised approach to heat flux parameterisation; and improve understanding of error compensation between different processes. Furthermore, ALERTNESS will explore new ways to diagnose uncertainties evolving from representations of small-scale processes, and is set to generate substantial advances in probabilistic forecasting for the Arctic. ALERTNESS builds directly on existing user and stakeholder mechanisms and will enable stakeholders to, for instance, use the advances of probabilistic forecasting for the benefit of safer and more efficient operations in the Arctic. Our tight collaboration between academia and the operational environment at MET Norway will efficiently transfer the results from research to operations, creating a lasting legacy in Arctic weather prediction capacity.

Project Details
NERSC Principal Investigator: 
Igor Ezau
Project Deputy Leader at NERSC: 
Stephen Outten
Coordinating Institute: 
Norwegian Meteorological Insitute
Project Status: