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Global Data Assimilation System (GDAS)

A plot of GDAS output showing the amount of water in snow covering the ground on February 1st, 2012 at 00UTC. This image was produced by visualizing GDAS output data with NASA’s Panoply visualization tool.

The Global Data Assimilation System (GDAS) is the system used by the Global Forecast System (GFS) model to place observations into a gridded model space for the purpose of starting, or initializing, weather forecasts with observed data. GDAS adds the following types of observations to a gridded, 3-D, model space: surface observations, balloon data, wind profiler data, aircraft reports, buoy observations, radar observations, and satellite observations. GDAS data are available through NOMADS as both input observations to GDAS and gridded output fields from GDAS. Gridded GDAS output data can be used to start the GFS model. Due to the diverse nature of the assimilated data types, input data are available in a variety of data formats, primarily Binary Universal Form for the Representation of meteorological data (BUFR) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) binary. The GDAS output is World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Gridded Binary (GRIB).

A plot of GDAS output showing total atmospheric ozone at 00UTC on February 1st, 2012.  This image was produced by visualizing GDAS output data with NASA’s Panoply visualization tool.