ARCHIVED: About WRF on Big Red II at IU

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Big Red II was retired from service on December 15, 2019; for more, see ARCHIVED: About Big Red II at Indiana University (retired).


The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model system is a next-generation mesoscale numerical weather prediction system designed to provide a flexible and computationally efficient platform for operational forecasting, while offering advances in physics, numerics, and data assimilation that allow researchers to produce simulations based on real data or idealized atmospheric conditions. The WRF model system contains two dynamic cores:

  • The Advanced Research WRF (ARW) core is supported by the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology (MMM) division of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). For user resources, see the WRF-ARW users' page.
  • The Non-hydrostatic Mesoscale Model (NMM) is supported by the by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and the Developmental Testbed Center (DTC). For user resources, see the WRF-NMM users' page.

For more, see the WRF website.

Add WRF to your user environment on Big Red II

On Big Red II at Indiana University, WRF is available for use with the Cray programming environment. To make sure the Cray programming environment module (PrgEnv-cray) is loaded; on the command line, enter module list, and look for PrgEnv-cray. If another programming environment module (for example, PrgEnv-pgi) is loaded, use the module swap command to replace it with the Cray programming environment; for example, on the command line, enter:

module swap PrgEnv-pgi PrgEnv-cray

Once the Prg-cray programming environment module is loaded, to add WRF to your user environment, load the WRF module; on the command line, enter:

module load wrf

Loading the wrf module automatically loads the prerequisite NetCDF (cray-netcdf) and HDF5 (cray-hdf5) I/O library modules, as well.

The WRF installation directory (/N/soft/cle4/wrf/3.5) contains directories for WRFV3 and the WRF Pre-Processing System (WPS), a collection of Fortran and C programs that provides input data for the real.exe and real_nmm.exe programs.

The WRFV3 installation includes the WRF Model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem). Additionally, the physics-only installation of WRF is available at:


Use WRF on Big Red II

To use WRF, create a working directory in your Data Capacitor II scratch space; for example (replace username with your IU username):


Following is an example TORQUE job script for running WRF in the Extreme Scalability Mode (ESM) execution environment on Big Red II:


#PBS -l nodes=4:ppn=32
#PBS -l walltime=00:10:00
#PBS -N my_job
#PBS -q cpu

cd /path/to/working/directory
aprun -n 128 /N/soft/cle4/wrf/3.5/WRFV3/main/wrf.exe >& wrf.log

For more about running batch jobs on Big Red II, see ARCHIVED: Run batch jobs on Big Red II.

Get help

Research computing support at IU is provided by the Research Technologies division of UITS. To ask a question or get help regarding Research Technologies services, including IU's research supercomputers and research storage systems, and the scientific, statistical, and mathematical applications available on those systems, contact UITS Research Technologies. For service-specific support contact information, see Research computing support at IU.

This is document bdpy in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2019-12-15 07:03:59.