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Rapid Refresh (RAP)

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Composite reflectivity

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Surface Temperature

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850 mb Relative Humidity

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850 mb Wind

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250 mb Wind

The Rapid Refresh replaced the RUC as the NOAA hourly-updated assimilation/modeling system operational at NCEP starting 1 May 2012. Implementation at NCEP of RAP Version 2 (RAPv2) occurred at 12z 25 Feb 2014. NCEP implementation of RAPv2 occurred at 12z 25 February 2014.
NCEP implementation of 3km HRRR is currently planned for 23 Sept 2014.

RAPv3 implementation in March-April 2014 for ESRL experimental RAP - improved storm environment, assimilation. RAPv3/HRRRv2 info here.


Recent RAPv2/HRRR presentations
From NWS RAPv2 webinar - Feb 2014 .
From NCEP Model Review - Dec 2013 .
Additional information on the RAPv2 implementation at NCEP is in this NWS Technical Implementation Note (TIN, amended 15 Jan 2013). .

  • Developed to serve users needing frequently updated short-range weather forecasts, including those in the US aviation community and US severe weather forecasting community. Also used prominently for energy-related (especially renewable) forecast guidance.

    High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR)


    News items


      The key features of the Rapid Refresh include:

    • high-frequency updated (every 1h) short-range weather model forecasts (out to 18h) in support of aviation, severe weather, energy, and other mesoscale weather forecast users
    • high-frequency (every 1h) 3-d objective analyses over all of North America, assimilating the following types of observations:
      • Commercial aircraft (including moisture data from WVSS-II sensors)
      • Profiler related
        • Wind profilers (404 and boundary-layer 915 MHz)
        • VAD (velocity-azimuth display) winds from NWS WSR-88D radars
        • RASS (Radio Acoustic Sounding System)
      • Rawinsondes and special dropwinsondes
      • Radar reflectivity (3-d)
      • Surface
        • Surface reporting stations and buoys (including cloud, visibility, current weather)
        • Mesonet (defer to RAP version 2)
      • Satellite
        • AMSU-A/B satellite radiances
        • GOES satellite radiances (defer to RAP version 2)
        • GPS total precipitable water estimates
        • GOES cloud-top data (pressure and temperature)
        • GOES high-density visible and IR cloud drift winds
      • Experimental
        • Lightning - defer to RAPv2 (used in ESRL RAP since Jan 2012)
        • Special wind-energy observations - defer to RAPv2 (used in ESRL RAP)

    Access to real-time and archive RAP grids
  • NCEP ftp site for real-time RAP data in GRIB2 format
  • NCEP RAP product inventory
  • NWS/COMET archive of RAP hybrid (native) grids
  • NASA ARM archive for RUC/RAP data . Click under "Data User Notes" on switch from RUC to RAP data on 5-1-2012. Data must be requested from the DOE/ARM facility.
  • Link to RUC data access (some links obsolete)