To give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Continuing to use this site means you agree
to our use of cookies. If you'd like to learn more about the cookies we use please find out more

Session 3.4 abstracts

Symposium home | Session 2 | Session 3 | Session 4 | Abstracts by Author |


3.4 Ocean Forecasting in the Coastal Domain: Scientific Challenges and User Needs & Benefits

Session conveners: Pierre De Mey and Villy Kourafalou

The table below lists all abstracts for Session 3.4 by author. To read the full abstract click on the title-link.

The unique reference number (ref. no.) relates to the abstract submission process and must be used in any communications with the organisers.

All abstracts from session 3.4 are available for download - pdf

 Ref.NoPrimary AuthorAffiliationCountryAbstract titlePoster
S3.4-01Chao, YiRemote Sensing Solutions, Inc.United StatesDownscaling from Pacific Ocean to California Coast and San Francisco Bay/Estuary to Enable Real-Time ForecastingPoster-pdf
S3.4-02Davidson, FraserFisheries and Oceans CanadaCanadaDevelopment of the Canadian Regional Operational Ice-Ocean Forecast System in CONCEPTS Oral (7 MB)
S3.4-03Halliwell, GeorgeNOAA/AOML/PhODUnited StatesOSSE Evaluation of Rapid Airborne Ocean Observing Strategies in the Gulf of MexicoPoster-pdf
S3.4-04He, RuoyingNorth Carolina State UniversityUnited StatesAn integrated Ocean Circulation, Wave, Atmosphere and Marine Ecosystem Prediction System for the South Atlantic Bight and Gulf of Mexico 
S3.4-05Kourafalou, VillyUniversity of Miami/RSMASUnited StatesForecasting coastal to offshore interactions in the Florida Straits: can a marathon swimmer cross the Florida Current? 
S3.4-06Lecornu, FIfremerFrancePREVIMER: A coastal operational oceanography system coupled to the Copernicus Marine ServicePoster-pdf
S3.4-07Le Henaff, MatthieuUniv. of Miami/RSMAS/CIMASUnited StatesImpact of boundary conditions on high-resolution simulations in a western boundary current region: the Gulf of Mexico examplePoster-pdf
S3.4-08Marta-Almeida, MartinhoREMO-UFBABrazilEfficient Tools for Marine Operational Forecast and Oil Spill TrackingPoster-pdf
S3.4-09Tranchant, BenoitMercator OceanFranceOperational Ocean Forecasting Capacity in the ASEAN region : the INDESO systemPoster-pdf
S3.4-10Usui, NorihisaMRI-JMAJapanDevelopment of a coastal monitoring and forecasting system around the Seto Inland Sea, Japan 
S3.4-11Weisberg, RobertUniversity of South FloridaUnited StatesImportance of in situ observations for the accuracy of nesting an inner shelf coastal model into a global modelPoster-pdf
S3.4-12 Best posterWilkin, JohnRutgers UniversityUnited StatesData Assimilative Modeling of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Bight ShelfPoster-pdf
S3.4-13Zhang, AijunNOAA/NOS/COOPSUnited StatesPerformance Evaluation of NOAA/National Ocean Service’s Operational Forecast SystemsOral (2.2 MB)


ID 3.4-01

Downscaling from Pacific Ocean to California Coast and San Francisco Bay/ Estuary to Enable Real-Time Forecasting

Yi Chao1,2, John Farrara2, Hongchun Zhang2

1 Remote Sensing Solutions, Inc., Pasadena, California, USA

2 University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA


This talk will report the progress of developing a downscaling model system from the Pacific Ocean to California coast and San Francisco bay/estuary.

Both the Pacific Ocean and the California coastal ocean model simulated by the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) using 40 terrain-following vertically-stretched layers and a structured horizontal curvilinear grid of 12.5-km and 3-km, respectively. As the model domain includes bays and estuaries, the complex coastline often requires unstructured grid in the horizontal direction in order to achieve the computational efficiency. To link the California coastal ocean with the San Francisco bay/estuary, we have implemented Semi-implicit Eulerian-Lagrangian Finite Element (SELFE) with unstructured triangular grids in the horizontal direction and a hybrid vertical coordinate combining the terrain-following and vertically-stretched with constant-depth layers. With the 3-dimensional variational (3DVAR) method, both in situ and satellite observations are assimilated to enable either a retrospective hindcast/reanalysis or a real-time forecast.

Results from the interactions between the Pacific Ocean and the California coastal ocean as well as the coupling between the California coastal ocean and San Francisco bay/estuary will be presented. Experiences and lessons learned from working with application end users to use the hindcast and forecast in support of improved decision making will be discussed.

ID 3.4-02

Development of the Canadian Regional Operational Ice-Ocean Forecast System in CONCEPTS

Fraser J.M. Davidson1, Greg Smith2, Youyu Lu3, Frederic Dupont2, Francois Roy2, Simon Higginson 3,Jean-Francois Lemieux2, Dany Dumont4, Bruno Tremblay5, Yimin Liu1, Matthieu Chevalier6, Gilles Garric6, Charles-Emanuel Testut6, Denis Lefaivre7

1 Fisheries and Oceans Canada, St. John's, Canada

2 Environment Canada, Dorval, Canada

3 Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Halifax, Canada

4 Université du Quebec a Rimouski, Rimouski, Canada

5 McGll University, Montreal, Canada

6 Mercator-Ocean, Ramonville St.Agne, France

7 Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Mont Joli, Canada


Under the Canadian Operational Network of Coupled Environmental Prediction Systems (CONCEPTS) MOU, three Canadian Government Departments are working together to develop a regional ice ocean forecast system. These departments are Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans and National Defense. The regional prediction system will be one of a suite of coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean environmental prediction systems to run operationally at Environment Canada's Canadian Meteorological Center.

The CONCEPTS regional domain (CREG12) covers the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans on a subset of the ORCA 12 grid. The tri-polar ORCA grid provides higher resolution in the Canadian Archipelago (2-3 KM) and roughly 6-7 km resolution along the Newfoundland Shelf. The project has 5 components; modeling development, high resolution data assimilation development, wave-ice model coupling, ice physics improvement and validation and dissemination for ice and ocean variables.

Results of hindcast exercises for the 2003-2010 period are presented. This period is used to tune the model including tides, vertical mixing, ice model parameters, bulk forcing and other parameterization. A series of one year forecasts is also underway to test the model skill in daily 10 day forecast mode. Operations for the CREG12 domain are expected for 2015 with a pre-operational routine run starting in 2014. The model results will be presented in WMS format via a data server at Environment Canada and at a not for profit organization. End users for the CONCEPTS regional operational ocean forecasting system are the weather service, oil industry, scientists, Inuit and the Canadian Coast Guard to name a few. The regional system will be useful for providing input to ice and iceberg management in the area as well as provide time series of ocean properties at locations of interest to oil field production.

It is envisaged by 2016 to have a CREG36 domain as a successor to the CREG12 domain configuration. Some results will be shown of present work on a subset of CREG36 over the Newfoundland Grand Banks and Orphan Basin. For higher resolution modeling in the near shore environment and in narrow inlets, the FVCOM ocean model will be nested within the CREG12 or CREG36 system.

ID 3.4-03

OSSE Evaluation of Rapid Airborne Ocean Observing Strategies in the Gulf of Mexico

G. R. Halliwell1, V. H. Kourafalou2, M. Le Hénaff3, R. Atlas4

1 NOAA/AOML/PhOD, Miami, Florida, USA

2 RSMAS, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, USA

3 CIMAS, University of Miami, Miami Florida, USA

4 NOAA/AOML, Miami Florida, USA


During the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill, nine airborne surveys conducted by NOAA WP-3D hurricane research aircraft collected upper-ocean temperature, salinity, and velocity profiles over the interior eastern Gulf of Mexico. The goal was to improve the accuracy of data-assimilative ocean analyses and forecasts used to predict the transport and dispersion of the oil. There is also interest in conducting rapid airborne surveys ahead of approaching hurricanes to improve ocean model initialization in coupled hurricane forecast models. Because rapid airborne surveys have not been subjected to rigorous design studies in the past, Observing System Simulation Experiments (OSSEs) are performed using a new OSSE system recently validated over the interior Gulf of Mexico. These experiments demonstrate that airborne surveys substantially reduce errors in data-assimilative ocean analyses beyond the error reduction achieved by satellite altimetry assimilation. Several questions were addressed involving temporal and spatial sampling resolution, profile depths, and temporal delays in the availability of the profiles for assimilation. Because of rapid error growth in the Gulf of Mexico, typically half of the error reduction achieved by assimilating airborne profiles is lost within 5-7 days following each survey. Horizontal resolution is important, with substantial additional error reduction achieved when profiles are sampled at one-half versus one degree resolution. Instrument type and profile depth are also important. Surveys conducted with airborne XBTs sampling temperature to 400 m substantially reduce upper-ocean temperature and heat content errors, which is important for hurricane forecasting. However, surveys conducted with airborne XCTDs sampling temperature and salinity to 1000 m further reduce errors in ocean currents and upper-ocean salinity, demonstrating advantages of using this instrument in lieu of airborne XBTs. Finally, OSSEs illustrate the importance of making these quality-controlled observations available for assimilation within 1-2 days after they are taken because errors increase rapidly for longer lags.

ID 3.4-04

An integrated Ocean Circulation, Wave, Atmosphere and Marine Ecosystem Prediction System for the South Atlantic Bight and Gulf of Mexico

Ruoying He*, Gorge Xue and Joseph Zambon

North Carolina State University

*corresponding author: rhe@ncsu.edu


A 3-dimensioanl marine environmental nowcast/forecast system has been constructed and is running quasi-operationally for the South Atlantic Bight and Gulf of Mexico. The system is based on the Coupled Ocean (ROMS)-Atmosphere (WRF)-Wave-(SWAN)-Sediment Transport (COAWST) model, and is driven by realistic meteorological forcing, tides, river, and deep ocean boundary conditions provided by a data assimilative global ocean model. Model output from this nowcast/forecast system, including marine weather, ocean wave, ocean circulation and marine ecosystem variable are generated daily and available for public access at http://omgsrv1.meas.ncsu.edu:8080/ocean-circulation/. The construction of this prediction system, model validations and examples of cases studies will be given in this presentation.

ID 3.4-05

Forecasting coastal to offshore interactions in the Florida Straits:

can a marathon swimmer cross the Florida Current?

V.H. Kourafalou, H. Kang and M. Le Hénaff

University of Miami/ Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami, FL, U.S.A.


A high resolution (~900m) hydrodynamic model has been providing hindcasts for the Florida Straits, South Florida and Florida Keys (FKeyS) since 2004 and forecasts since 2010; it is nested within a regional Gulf of Mexico model that employs GODAE products for boundary conditions (all three models based on the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model, HYCOM). The nested model (free-running) has allowed new findings in the Florida Current variability, revealing unprecedented details in the associated eddy field. In particular, a synergy has been established between the meandering of the Florida Current, cyclonic eddies along the Florida Keys and anticyclonic eddies along Cuba. Near the coastal areas within the Florida Straits, the Florida Current and eddies impose strong interactions between coastal and offshore flows.

A recent attempt by a marathon swimmer to cross the Florida Straits was aided by FKEYS-HYCOM forecasts to determine the optimal conditions for swimming from Cuba to the Florida Keys, navigating through this complex and intense current system; conditions at the time of swim launching from Cuba are illustrated in the Sea Surface Height image below (vectors are representative near surface currents).


ID 3.4-06

PREVIMER: A coastal operational oceanography system coupled to the Copernicus Marine Service

F. Lecornu1, L. Pineau-Guillou1, F. Dumas1, P-Y. Le Traon1, F. Gohin1, A. Menesguen1

1 Ifremer, Brest, France


Our coastal zones are subject to increasing anthropogenic pressure. Monitoring systems are required to protect them, prevent or mitigate risks and to ensure a sustainable management of their resources.

PREVIMER is a partnership between Ifremer (French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea), SHOM (French Hydrographic Office) and several major French institutions (www.previmer.org). It provides coastal observations, analyses and 4 days forecasts for the French coasts of the English Channel, Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea: currents, water levels, waves, temperature, salinity, turbidity, nutrients and plankton concentrations. The service includes information based on in situ, satellite observations and numerical simulations.

PREVIMER products and services are used by French marine environment monitoring and maritime safety agencies, for professionals (e.g. fish and shellfish farming industry), local authorities, consultants and scientists. Many applications are targeted: marine environment monitoring (Marine Strategy), alerts in case of eutrophication (bottom oxygen deficiency, excess of biomass) or harmful algal bloom (e.g. amnesic shellfish poison produced by Pseudo-Nitzschia diatoms), on-line tracking in the marine ecosystem of the nitrogen loaded by a specific river, storm surge forecast to prevent from coastal flooding risk, drift predictions and pollutant impacts, optimizing and monitoring renewable marine energy sites.

PREVIMER numerical models (physics and ecosystems) resolution varies from 2.5 km for regional models up to few hundred meters for coastal models. The regional models need boundary and initial conditions. PREVIMER is thus coupled to the Copernicus/MyOcean modelling. This allows a seamless description of the ocean from the open sea down to the coastal zone.



Figure 1 : Chlorophyll map from ecosystem model, 2012 March 15th. A bloom is detected by the model south of Brittany ( www.previmer.org)

ID 3.4-07

Impact of boundary conditions on high-resolution simulations in a western boundary current region: the Gulf of Mexico example

M. Le Hénaff1,2, V. H. Kourafalou2, G. R. Halliwell3, R. Atlas3

1 Universtiy of Miami, Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, Miami, USA

2 Universtiy of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Miami, USA

3 NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Miami, USA


The Gulf of Mexico is a semi-enclosed basin connecting the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. The Loop Current (LC), which enters the Gulf from the Yucatan Channel to the South and exits through the Straits of Florida to the East, is the dominant dynamical signal of the basin, and is crucial in many economical and environmental aspects. The LC is highly variable inside the Gulf, growing from a retracted, southward position to an extended position during which it interacts with the northern Gulf shelf areas. Once fully extended, the LC closes its circulation and forms a large, anticyclonic eddy, or ring, that then drifts westward into the Gulf. These changes in the LC extension are not regular in time, and are dependent on the oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the Caribbean Sea, among other factors. In the prospect of regional modeling of the Gulf interior and coastal/shelf areas, the boundary conditions are thus crucial for a correct representation of the LC variability, hence of the full Gulf of Mexico dynamical system.

We have set up a regional model of the Gulf of Mexico, based on the HYCOM model, with a 1/50° resolution, and 32 vertical levels. This model has been nested into the daily operational Global HYCOM 1/12° resolution simulation (GODAE/OceanView U.S. national system), and also into climatological, bi-weekly boundary conditions from a North Atlantic 1/12° resolution simulation, for comparison. The impact of these boundary conditions on the representation of the LC and on the ring formation process will be examined, to provide feedback on the utility of daily operational global fields, in the context of regional ocean forecasting with a high resolution nested model in the Gulf of Mexico.

ID 3.4-08

Efficient Tools for Marine Operational Forecast and Oil Spill Tracking

Martinho Marta-Almeida1, Manuel Ruiz-Villarreal2, Janini Pereira1,3, Pablo Otero2, Mauro Cirano1,3, Xiaoqian Zhang4,5, Robert D Hetland4

1 Rede de Modelagem e Observação Oceanografica (REMO), Brazil

2 Instituto Español de Oceanografía, C. O. A Coruña, Galicia, Spain

3 Grupo de Oceanografia Tropical, Instituto de Física, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil

4 Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA

5 State Key Laboratory of Satellite Ocean Environment Dynamics, Second Institute of Oceanography, Hangzhou, China


Ocean forecasting and oil spill modelling and tracking are complex activities requiring specialized institutions. In this work we present a lighter solution based on the Operational Ocean Forecast Python Engine (OOFe) and the oil spill model General NOAA Operational Modelling Environment (GNOME). These two are robust relocatable and simple to implement and maintain. Implementations of the operational engine in three different regions with distinct oceanic systems, using the ocean model Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS), are described, namely the Galician region, the southeastern Brazilian waters and the Texas–Louisiana shelf. GNOME was able to simulate the fate of the Prestige oil spill (Galicia) and compared well with observations of the Krimsk accident (Texas). Scenarios of hypothetical spills in Campos Basin (Brazil) are illustrated, evidencing the sensitiveness to the dynamical system. OOFe and GNOME are proved to be valuable, efficient and low cost tools and can be seen as an intermediate stage towards more complex operational implementations of ocean forecasting and oil spill modelling strategies.

ID 3.4-09

Operational Ocean Forecasting Capacity in the ASEAN region : the INDESO system

B. Tranchant1, E. Greiner1, P. Gaspar1, S. Giraud1, S. Guinehut1, G. Reffray2, E. Gutknecht2, Y. Drillet2, M. Gehlen3, A. Koch-Larrouy4

1 Collecte Localisation Satellites, Ramonville Saint Agne, France

2 SC Mercator Ocean, Ramonville Saint Agne, France

3 LSCE/IPSL, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

4 LEGOS IRD, Toulouse, France


An Operational Ocean forecasting center is being currently developped to undertake activities to monitor on a routine daily basis the state of the indonesian seas and to assess how healthy, safe, clean, productive they are. It shall promote the study, discussion and awareness of marine resources value and strategy towards sustainable fisheries and protection of commercially-exploited tuna species within the Indonesian Ministry for Research and Fishery Management.

The forecasting solution designed by CLS and leading scientists is multi-disciplinary : it is composed of a suite of numerical models bridging physical and biogeochemical parameters (temperature, salinity chlorophyll-a, oxygen, nutrients, pH,…) to population dynamics of large marine predators. The approach demonstrates the feasibility of building a regional capacity fully exploiting operational data flows of global ocean and weather forecasting systems, global and regional ocean observing systems and space ocean-observing missions.

This poster describes the components of the regional ocean forecasting system which is essentially a downscaling at 1/12° resolution of the global ocean BIOMER ¼° coupled system from Mercator Ocean based on NEMO (Madec, 2006). The domain covers a large region extending from the western Pacific Ocean to the Eastern Indian Ocean. Theglobal ¼° physical ocean model will provide in real time the ocean forcing while climatological open boundary conditions are prescribed for biogeochemical parameters.

Significant scientific developments and tunings have been made specifically to develop, adapt and improve the ocean models. The goal is to better represent the key oceanographic features (water transformation, indonesia throughflow) and geographic features (an archipelago of small islands with marginal seas connected by narrow straits). Ocean-atmosphere interactions plays also a critical role in the interannual and intraseasonal variability. The eddy-resolving physical ocean configuration uses a specific internal tide mixing parameterization (Koch-Larrouy et al., 2007). The coupling with the biogeochemical model PISCES (Aumont and Bopp, 2006) is implemented on line without degradation in space and time. Dedicated numerical experiments have been done to test the sensitivity of both models to forcing terms (river, atmosphere, ocean) and to open boundaries numerical schemes.

The outcomes and achievements of this system will be illustrated by the analysis of a reference hindcast simulation of the recent 2007-2012 years. Comparisons to observations, climatology and global ocean model outputs will be commented.

ID 3.4-10

Development of a coastal monitoring and forecasting system around the Seto Inland Sea, Japan

N. Usui, K. Sakamoto, Y. Fujii, K. Ogawa, T. Kuragano, and M. Kamachi.

Japan Meteorological Agency/ Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan


We have been developing a high-resolution coastal monitoring and forecasting system (MOVE/MRI.COM-Seto), which will be used as a next-generation coastal system in Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). The system consists of a high-resolution coastal model (MRI.COM-Seto) with a horizontal resolution of about 2km and a data assimilation system (MOVE-4DVAR). MRI.COM-Seto covers the coastal area around the Seto Inland Sea located in the western Japan, and is nested into a western North Pacific model with a 10km resolution. Data assimilation is performed with the western North Pacific model using a four dimensional variational method. MRI.COM-seto is initialized with Incremental Analysis Update by using a 2km resolution 4DVAR analysis field, which is obtained by interpolating the 10km analysis field into the 2km grid of MRI.COM-Seto.

We compared MOVE-4DVAR results with assimilated fields analyzed by the same scheme as the present operational 3DVAR system in JMA. The comparison indicates that the 4DVAR scheme enhances short-term mesoscale variability. It is also shown that coastal sea-level variability of MRI.COM-Seto is much improved by using the 4DVAR results for both the initialization and side boundaries compared with a case using 3DVAR results. In the presentation, we will also show results of a case study for an unusual high-tide event that occurred in September 2011.

ID 3.4-11

Importance of in situ observations for the accuracy of nesting an inner shelf coastal model into a global model

R. Weisberg, L. Zheng, and Y. Liu

University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.A.


We have developed a three-dimensional, time- and density-dependent coastal ocean circulation model which is suitable for downscaling from the deep ocean, across the continental shelf and into the estuaries in one model configuration, without multiple nesting steps. The approach is achieved by one-way nesting the unstructured grid, Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model (FVCOM, inner model) into the structured grid, Global Hybrid Coordinator Model (HYCOM, outer model). The model is applied to the West Florida Shelf for the calendar year 2007 and the simulation is quantitatively tested against in situ observations of sea levels from tidal gauges and temperatures and water column currents from moored ADCPs. Although the agreements between model simulations and observations for both tides and low frequency variability over the calendar year are found, with adequate observations spanning the inner model domain, we may determine when the outer model is in error at the nesting zone. Figure 1 provides year-long time series comparisons between the observed (upper), HYCOM (middle), and FVCOM (lower) simulated near surface water current vectors (36-hour low-pass filtered) at ADCP mooring C19, located near the open boundary and within the model nesting zone. It shows that the simulations and observations are in good agreement for the first half of the year, whereas they depart for the second half of the year (days 210 through 320), which is attributed to the errors in the HYCOM simulation, shown as the discrepancy between and the observation and HYCOM simulation. This open boundary error can propagate along the isobath with shallower depth to the right throughout the model domain that is found in other moored ADCP stations. Without the observations near the open boundary and the nesting zone, such as at C19, we might not be able to diagnose the error source of our coastal model in this region. This highlights the necessity and importance of in situ observations for improving model simulation accuracy and providing more accurate open boundary forcing.


Figure 1: Year-long time series comparisons between the observed (upper), HYCOM (middle), and FVCOM (lower) simulated near surface water current vectors (36-hour low-pass filtered) at station C19.

ID 3.4-12

Data Assimilative Modeling of the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Bight Shelf

John L. Wilkin1, Julia Levin1, Javier Zavala-Garay1

1 Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA


Hydrodynamic models are used in coastal oceanography to simulate the circulation of limited-area domains for studies of regional ocean dynamics, biogeochemistry, geomorphology and ecosystem processes. When operated as real-time now-cast or forecast systems, these models offer predictions that assist decision-making related to water quality and public health, coastal flooding, shipping, maritime safety, and other applications.

Here we describe the configuration and operation of such a modeling system for the shelf waters of the Mid-Atlantic Bight (MAB) – a region with a diversity of real-time models in sustained operation and a dense in situ observational data set for assimilation and skill assessment.

MAB circulation is influenced by winds, tides, buoyancy input from rivers, a steady along-shelf sea level gradient, and mesoscale eddies that impinge upon the shelf edge. This spectrum of forcing, and the dynamic shelf edge frontal zone, make the region a challenging laboratory for testing the skill of coastal ocean models and data assimilation methodologies.

The MAB is relatively densely observed compared to coastal oceans globally, with much of the local data acquisition coordinated by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) – a component of the growing U.S. network of regional observatories supported by consortia of federal, state, academic and commercial partners. MARACOOS operates an extensive CODAR (Coastal Ocean Dynamics Applications Radar) network observing surface currents from the coast to the shelf edge, and deploys autonomous underwater glider vehicles (AUGV) to acquire subsurface temperature, salinity and biogeochemical data along transects throughout the MAB.

The Rutgers University Ocean Modeling Group sustains a real-time forecasting system for the MAB using the ROMS model (Regional Ocean Modeling System; www.myroms.org) with 4-dimensional Variational (4D-Var) data assimilation to adjust initial conditions, boundary conditions, and surface forcing in each analysis cycle. The data that are assimilated include CODAR velocities, satellite sea surface height (with coastal corrections), satellite temperature, in situ temperature and salinity from AUGV and National Marine Fisheries Ecosystem Monitoring voyages, and all in situ data reported via the WMO GTS network.

The Mean Dynamic Topography that augments altimeter sea level data is derived from a 4D-Var analysis constrained by mean surface fluxes, hydrographic climatology, long-term mean CODAR currents, lengthy mooring deployments, and a decade of ADCP data on a New York to Bermuda ship transect.

We quantify the modeling system predictive skill in comparison to other MAB real-time systems, and examine the relative impact of satellite, CODAR and in situ observations on system performance.

ID 3.4-13

Performance Evaluation of NOAA/National Ocean Service’s Operational Forecast Systems

Aijun Zhang, Machuan Peng, and Degui Cao

NOAA/National Ocean Service/Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910


NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) has the mission and mandate to provide guidance and information to support the Nation’s navigation and coastal needs. To support this mission, NOS has been developing and implementing a set of hydrodynamic model-based Operational Forecast Systems (OFS) for sea ports, estuaries, Great Lakes, and coastal/shelf waters through its line offices of the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services and the Office of Coast Survey’s Coastal Survey Development Laboratory.The OFSs perform automated integration of real-time observations, hydrodynamic model-based forecasts, product dissemination, and continuous quality control and monitoring. They provide forecast guidance on 3-D physical oceanographic properties for coastal and continental shelf waters including water temperature, salinity, currents, and water levels. NOS OFSs are developed and operated using NOS’s Coastal Ocean Modeling Framework which provides a standardized common framework for all NOS OFSs, and evaluated using NOS standard skill assessment software. Currently there are 13 OFSs in operational production, and there are two new forecast systems to be transitioned to operations each year in the future. This presentation includes a general overview of NOS OFS development and operations and skill assessment results of operational products for some of the OFSs.