The Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS) is upgraded to version 12, in which the legacy Global Spectral Model (GSM) is replaced by a model with a new dynamical core—the Finite Volume Cubed-Sphere Dynamical Core (FV3). Extensive tests were performed to determine the optimal model and ensemble configuration. The new GEFS has cubed-sphere grids with a horizontal resolution of about 25 km and an increased ensemble size from 20 to 30. It extends the forecast length from 16 to 35 days to support subseasonal forecasts. The stochastic total tendency perturbation (STTP) scheme is replaced by two model uncertainty schemes: the stochastically perturbed physics tendencies (SPPT) scheme and stochastic kinetic energy backscatter (SKEB) scheme. Forecast verification is performed on a period of more than two years of retrospective runs. The results show that the upgraded GEFS outperforms the operational-at-the-time version by all measures included in the GEFS verification package. The new system has a better ensemble error–spread relationship, significantly improved skills in large-scale environment forecasts, precipitation probability forecasts over CONUS, tropical cyclone track and intensity forecasts, and significantly reduced 2-m temperature biases over North America. GEFSv12 was implemented on 23 September 2020.
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