Climate Test Bed

The NOAA Climate Test Bed (CTB) is housed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) and is charged with accelerating the transition of research advances into operational climate models and predictions. The CTB is one of several NOAA test beds with a specific focus on climate. CTB is a shared responsibility of NCEP and the Climate Program Office, MAPP program. MAPP works closely with CTB to ensure that as part of transition activities the most relevant and promising research advances are tested; NCEP infrastructure and expertise is available to the external community; and developments arising from funded MAPP-CTB research projects are deployed by NCEP into operational climate forecast systems, products, and applications. CTB and MAPP work together as part of the MAPP Task Forces to facilitate the research to operations linkage. Topical workshops and special collections have been jointly organized by CTB and MAPP as part of transition activities. A number of accomplishments and key projects have resulted from this relationship between CTB and the MAPP program:

- Experimental drought monitoring based on the North American Land Data Assimilation (NLDAS) have been tested to advance the objective and quantitative and are now run operationally.

- Several Climate Process Teams are testing advances in the representation of clouds and radiation to help improve the operational climate forecast model.

- An experimental North American Multi Model Ensemble (NMME), which involves monthly runs of eight North American models, the production of a 30-year hindcast data set, and extensive research to evaluate and improve the system. Monthly contributions to the NMME come from NCAR, the University of Miami (running an NCAR model), NASA, NOAA GFDL, NOAA NCEP, and Environment Canada. Although experimental, NMME results are skillful enough that they are utilized by forecasters at NCEP to produce operational climate forecasts. With the help of CTB, discussion are currently progressing on how to transition the NMME into an operational mode.

- The MAPP program has funded a number of new projects starting in 2014 to improve operational prediction. The projects have a variety of focal areas, including subseasonal prediction, model improvements, better severe weather predictions, and advanced representations of the land surface in NCEP models.

- The CFSv2 Special Collection on Topical Collection on CFSv2 in Springer (Climate Dynamics) now has 20 articles published and they can be accessed in the following link:



Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.