Open Weather Model Datasets

While building a Fire Weather Index calculation system as an input for the Indonesian Fire Danger Rating System (Ina-FDRS), I’ve been searching for an open dataset that can be used to calculate the daily fire weather indices. The previous version of the Ina-FDRS uses the ERA5 real-time dataset from the ECMWF. This real-time dataset is not free, however the ERA5T with a 5 days delay is available for free through the Climate Data Store (CDS) API. Some of the dataset in the ERA5 family is also available on Google Earth Engine.

Since ERA5 requires a license to obtain real-time data, the next step is to find another dataset. NOAA’s Global Forecast System is freely available, since it’s funded by US tax dollars. This dataset can also be accessed freely on Google Earth Engine and updated daily in the platform. The current Fire Weather Index calculator that I developed is using GFS data as an input alongside the rain data from GSMaP.

While browsing in a forum, I found a new dataset, Multi-Source Weather (MSWX), this model is an operational, high resolution (3-hourly 0.1 degree) with a global coverage from 1979 to 7 months from now. MSWX is divided into four sub-products which are:

  1. Historical record (MSWX – Past)
  2. Near real-time extension (MSWX – NRT)
  3. Medium-range forecast ensemble (MSWX – Mid)
  4. Seasonal forecast (MSWX – Long)

GloH2O, the organization behind MSWX, also provides a global precipitation product named Multi-Source Weighted-Ensemble Precipitation (MSWEP). This product uses rain gauge, satellite, and reanalysis data to obtain precipitation estimates globally.

Both datasets are released under the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). They’re free to use for non-commercial purposes, by sending a request form, we will receive a link to a Google Drive folder containing the MSWX.


Published by josefmtd

Electronics Engineer

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