MPAS-Atmosphere Tutorial

Spring 2024

Foothills lab building FL2
Apr. 22 to Apr. 24, 2024

9:00 am – 4:00 pm MDT

Main content


The Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology (MMM) Laboratory of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) will be hosting a virtual tutorial on the Model for Prediction Across Scales – Atmosphere (MPAS-A). The tutorial will cover the basics of how to set-up, run, and post-process stand-alone MPAS-A simulations. Topics that will be covered will include:

  1. Horizontal (uniform and variable resolution) mesh configuration
  2. Global and regional configurations
  3. Real-data and idealized case initialization
  4. MPAS-A dynamical solver and numerical methods
  5. MPAS-A physics
  6. Software framework and MPAS infrastructure
  7. Post-processing tools

The primary audience for this tutorial is new or beginning users of MPAS-Atmosphere. Basic knowledge of atmospheric science and numerical modeling, as well as experience working within a Unix computing environment, is required for the tutorial.

The tutorial will consist of live lectures, questions and answer sessions, and practical sessions where participants will gain experience building, configuring and running the MPAS-Atmosphere model.

Important Dates and Notes

Spaces are limited; registration will be handled through an application process. Applications for space in the tutorial will be assessed on an ongoing basis. All times are listed in Mountain Daylight Time (UTC -6)

Application opens: 13 March 2024 at 8:00 am MDT (UTC -6)

Applications for the tutorial are closed as we have reached our capacity for the event. 

All applicants will be notified if they have been accepted by end of day 5 April 2024. 

Participation Fees:

  • Full-time U.S. University Students - $50
  • All others - $100

In order to provide more equitable access to the tutorial, a small number of no-cost spaces will be reserved for those unable to pay the participation fee. Supporting material will be requested on the tutorial application form.

Future MPAS Tutorials

The MPAS team hosts two tutorials every year, a virtual tutorial in the spring, and an in-person tutorial in the fall. We are planning an in-person MPAS tutorial at Howard University over the week of 30 September - 4 October 2024.

In 2024, the MPAS team, in collaboration with National Centre for Atmospheric Science UK, will offer an additional tutorial in Edinburgh on 21-25 October. Both MPAS model and MPAS/JEDI are planned.

About MPAS-Atmosphere

The Model for Prediction Across Scales - Atmosphere (MPAS-A) is a variable-resolution nonhydrostatic atmospheric model with both global and regional capabilities.  The defining features of MPAS-A are its horizontally unstructured Voronoi mesh and C-grid discretization. The C-grid discretization, where the normal component of velocity on cell edges is prognosed, is especially well-suited for higher-resolution, storm-resolving applications.  The unstructured Voronoi meshes, formally Spherical Centroidal Voronoi Tesselations (SCVTs), allow for both quasi-uniform discretization of the sphere and local refinement.

MPAS-A is freely available through its GitHub repository (  It contains multiple atmospheric physics suites, the Noah land model, and utilizes specified sea-surface temperatures in its applications.  The primary development of MPAS-A, and its community support, is led by NSF NCAR’s Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Laboratory.  For data assimilation applications, both the Data Assimilation Research Testbed (DART and the Joint Effort for Data assimilation Integration (JEDI)) work with MPAS-A and are available to the community. Among its many applications, it has been used in global storm-resolving studies, in global variable-resolution forecast experiments, and to provide real-time forecasts for NSF sponsored field programs.


MPAS logo collage