WRF Input Files

File type abbreviation: wrfin

The WRF input files contain all the information required to initialize and run the respective simulation. The file downloaded to the user consists of a tar file containing the WRF run directory. In addition to using the contents of the tar files to rerun LASSO-CACTI simulations, the information in these files is useful for identifying model configuration choices, e.g., in the WRF namelist.input file.

The tar files also include the Metgrid output, i.e., the met_em files, for domains D1 and D2 if users are interested in rerunning WRF’s real.exe program for a different physics configuration for the given case date and ensemble member input data set. The met_em files are also useful for displaying how the input data sets represent the meteorological conditions, which can aid in understanding why the WRF output differs between ensemble members as well as in identifying biases in WRF behavior versus characteristics imposed on WRF by the initial conditions and boundary forcing.

Because the four WRF domains are run in two pairings of domains, there are two different types of input tar files, one for the mesoscale and one for the LES domains. The inputs included in the mesoscale tar files derive from the global input data sets, while the inputs in the LES tar files derive from the mesoscale parent domain, D3, of that ensemble member.

A listing of the files in an example mesoscale input tar file is at input_tarfile_list_meso.txt. The complementary listing for an LES input tar file is at input_tarfile_list_les.txt. The typical size of the input tar files is 1.5 GB and 17 GB for the mesoscale and LES simulations, respectively.

Note that the input files are named as required to run WRF. Because of this, files associated with domains D3 and D4 are labeled as d01 and d02 in the filenames within the LES tar file. This is a nuance of the WRF workflow when using ndown.exe. Thus, there will be multiple files with identical names but different content for the combined mesoscale and LES input file suite, e.g., wrfinput_d01, with one for D1 and another for D3.