A model domain is a more or less rectangular area, for which the weather is calculated in 3-dimensions (see picture on the right). The domain is divided into grid cells, which are ordered in rectangular shape, like on a chessboard.
Domains are also called "model domain", "model area", "forecast area" or "area for calculation".
A domain is established to increase the resolution of the calculation for a certain area where more precise weather information is needed, for example an area with mountains, many lakes or high concentration of renewable energy production. For these areas, the distance between grid cells is reduced, so more calculation points are available. For other areas with "easy" topography (like oceans), or of less interest (like deserts), high resolution calculation would normally be too expensive, and the utilization of the modern global models is mostly sufficient.
The domain is "embedded" (inserted) into a larger domain (or a global model) which provides the starting and boundary conditions for calculation (what happens "at the beginning" and what comes in/moves out after 1, 2, 3 etc hours).
Model resolution at each location
You can check the model resolution at each location easily on our website. Search the place (note: you can also enter coordinates directly into the search box), and then look at the rainSPOT; with the radius (in kilometres) shown ,you can determine the underlying model resolution for the selected place in the following way:
|rainSPOT||Domain (Resolution)||Remarks / Resolution|
|Radius of 15 km||NMM4/NEMS4 (3 km)||Europe - from Scotland to Portugal and Crete. rainSPOT aggregates 2 gridcells to improve overview (1h time interval).|
|Radius of 35 km||NMM12/NEMS12/NEMSIN (12 km)||Europe - from Iceland to Morocco and Jordan (1h time interval).|
|Radius of 55 km||AF01/SA01/AS01 (18 km)||Subsaharan Africa (1h time interval).|
|Radius of 90 km||NEMSGLOBAL (30 km)||Global - all Earth in approximately 30 km (1h time interval).|
|Radius of 60 km||GFS05 (50/25 km)||Global: 25 km for temperatures, precipitation and wind, others 50 km. 3 hour intervals , hourly interpolation.|
|Radius of 30 km||NEMSSA (10 km)||South America (1h time interval).|
|Radius of 25 km||NEMSAS02 (8 km)||East Asia - including Japan, Taiwan, most of China and Mongolia, and others (1h time interval).|
|Radius of 35 km||NEMSIN (12 km)||Indian Subcontinent - with India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and others (1h time interval).|
|Radius of 25 km||NEMSNZ (8 km)||New Zealand (1h time interval).|
Other resolutions may be used in different domains. Check the rainSPOT for confirmation
The domain and last update time of the model forecast are shown on the main page, under the rainSPOT (under the tab "Show details / hourly data").