Photo: Hanneke Luijting

The AROME-Arctic weather model

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute has provided forecasts of the weather in the High North for a long time. Our Development Centre for Weather Forecasting has developed a high-resolution model that forecasts the weather in this area for the next three days.

The model is called AROME-Arctic and has been running since November 15th, 2015. The geographic resolution is 2.5 kilometres, which is the same as in the model that the Norwegian Meteorological Institute uses to forecast the weather elsewhere in Norway. AROME-Arctic gives a detailed representation of processes on the ground and in the atmosphere. In addition to Svalbard and northern Norway, the model also covers a large area of sea, which is a challenge due to the sparsity of observations. Thus, satellite observations are particularly important for this model.

There are a number of challenges related to the weather conditions in the High North, such as polar lows, turbulence, processes close to the sea ice edge and rapid changes in climate due to global warming. Many of these challenges are unique to the High North/Arctic and are therefore best represented by a dedicated model such as AROME-Arctic. The model is useful not only for meteorologists in their operational weather forecasting, but also increasingly for the shipping industry, research and aviation. Data from the model is freely available on thredds.met.no and is actively used in research at a number of places, including the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS). The model is also used on yr.no for Svalbard.

The development of AROME-Arctic is done in collaboration with several national and international projects and institutions. The model system is built on HARMONIE-Arome, an extension of the ALADIN-HIRLAM NWP system.

The area covered by the AROME-Arctic model.