Model domain

Model domain

Model domain

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).

meteoblue model domain overview

Overview of meteoblue model domains (status March 2015)
Global domains are not shown.

Weather models

Weather models simulate physical processes. A weather model divides the world or a region into small "grid-cells". Each cell is about 4km to 40km wide and 100m to 2km high. Our models contain 60 atmospheric layers and reach deep into the stratosphere at 10-25 hPa (60km altitude). The weather is simulated by solving complex mathematical equations between all grid cells every few seconds and parameters like temperature, wind speed or clouds are stored for every hour. 

meteoblue operates a large number of weather models and integrates open data from various sources. All meteoblue models are computed twice a day on a dedicated High Performance Cluster.

NEMS model family: Improved NMM successors (operational since 2013). NEMS is a multi-scale model (used from global down to local domains) and significantly improves cloud-development and precipication forecast.

Model Region Resolution Source        
NEMS4 Central Europa 4 km 72 h meteoblue
NEMS12 Europa 12 km 168 h meteoblue
NEMS-8 Central America 12 km 144 h meteoblue
NEMS12 India 12 km 168 h meteoblue
NEMS10 South America 10 km 168 h meteoblue
NEMS10 South Africa 10 km 144 h meteoblue
NEMS8 New Zealand 8 km 144 h meteoblue
NEMS8 Japan East Asia 8 km 144 h meteoblue
NEMS30 Global 30 km 168 h meteoblue
NEMS2-30 Global 30 km 168 h meteoblue

NMM model family: the first weather model from meteoblue (operational since 2007). NMM is a regional weather model and highly optimised for complex terrain.

Model    Region         Resolution  Source        
NMM4 Central Europa 4 km 72 h meteoblue
NMM12 Europa 12 km 168 h meteoblue
NMM18 South America 18 km 144 h meteoblue
NMM18 South Africa 18 km 144 h meteoblue
NMM18 Southeast Asia 18 km 144 h meteoblue

Third-party domains: As seen on most other websites

Model           Region                   Resolution           Source                   
GFS22 Global 22 km 180 h (@ 3 h) NOAA NCEP
GFS40 Global 40 km 168 h (@ 3 h) NOAA NCEP
GFSENS05 Global 40 km 336 h (@ 6 h) NOAA NCEP
NAM5 North America 5 km 48 h NOAA NCEP
NAM12 North America 12 km 84 h (@ 3 h) NOAA NCEP
ICON13 Global 13 km 78 h Deutscher Wetterdienst
GEM25 Global 25 km 168 h (@ 3 h) Environment Canada
AROME2 France 2 km 36 h METEO FRANCE
ARPEGE11 Europe 11 km 96 h METEO FRANCE
ARPEGE40 Global 40 km 96 h (@ 3 h) METEO FRANCE
HIRLAM11 Europe 11km 48 h KNMI

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 temperaturesprecipitation 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").