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System descriptions

NCOF SST-forecast

GODAE OceanView continues to foster the development of operational ocean forecasting systems. Representative from related system can benefit from an international forum ffor the coordination of activites, estbalishment of partnership and facilitation of exchange of experiences and expertise. The major national ocean forecasting systems represented in GODAE OceanView members are described below.

Further details about the forecasting systems described below can be found in the annual system reports, available from the document section of this website.


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The BLUElink> Ocean Model, Analysis and Prediction System (OceanMAPS) is Australia’s first-generation ocean forecasting system and runs operationally since August 2007. It features a global ocean model based on Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Modular Ocean Model version 4 (MOM4) OGCM version p0d with 0.1° x 0.1° resolution in the Asia Australia region and the BLUElink> Ocean Data Assimilation System (BODAS) is used to perform multivariate, ensemble optimal interpolation analysis nine days and five days behind real time. The mode is forced by three-hourly surface fluxes from the Bureau of Meteorology’s operational global numerical weather prediction system. The operational system produces a seven-day forecast twice a week.




The Canadian Operational Network of Coupled Environmental Prediction Systems (CONCEPTS) is an initiative to establish an operational Canadian-global atmosphere-ocean-ice assimilation and modelling system. It aims to take advantage of improvements in ocean models and new near real time global oceanographic observations to produce new ocean products and improve weather predictions and seasonal to inter-annual climate forecasts. CONCEPTS includes different global and regional modeling efforts, e.g. for the Arctic & North Atlantic and the Great Lakes at resolutions from 1/4° to 1/36°.



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The Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO) systems that routinely produce global ocean data assimilation products include a near-real-time system based on Kalman filter/smoother assimilation that runs as the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a delayed mode estimation system based on the adjoint methods that runs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). ECCO products are primarily geared towards scientific applications for physical oceanography and climate research.




The main purpose of the ocean analysis at ECMWF is to provide initial conditions for the extended range forecasts (seasonal and monthly). The new operational ECWMF ocean analysis system (system 3 or S3) consists of two analysis streams:

- historical reanalysis to initialize seasonal forecasts.
- ocean analysis, daily (NRT), to initialize monthly forecasts.

The ocean analysis is performed every 10 days. All the observations within a centered 10-days window are gathered and quality controlled.



Met Office

The Forecasting Ocean Assimilation System (FOAM) has been running operationally since 1997 at the Met Office and provides the main UK contribution to GODAE OceanView. It produces five-day forecasts of ocean and sea-ice variables. The system uses the NEMO OGCM and the CICE sea ice model, with assimilation using the NEMOVar 3D Variational scheme. In addition, a high resolution (5km) global Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Ice Analysis (OSTIA) product has been developed to take full advantage of sea surface temperature (SST) products made available through the Group for High Resolution SST (GHRSST). Full operational production of OSTIA commenced towards the end of 2006. These systems are run operationally at the Met Office and have been developed in conjunction with partners within the National Partnership for Ocean Prediction (NPOP).




The US Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) operates a 1/12 deg global ocean prediction system using the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). This pre-operational system has been running in near-real-time since 12/2006 and real-time since 02/2007. A one-year assimilative hindcast spanning 06/2007 - 05/2008 was run to assess system performance and to compare with the NRL Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM)/NLOM system. This hindcast was spun up to real time and is the basis for the system currently in use.




The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) operates the Integrated Indian Ocean Forecasting System (INDOFOS) to forecast surface currents, waves, winds, sea surface temperature, mixed layer depth and depth of 20 degrees isotherm up to 5 days ahead. It is is based on the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) and its horizontal resolution 1/4° degree with 40 vertical sigma levels.




Two major Korean institutes operate ocean forecasting systems: the Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Agency (KHOA); and the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology (KIOST) support economic activity and national security, including search and rescue, maritime defense, fisheries, coastal management and development, leisure activities and marine transportation, as well as improving regional weather and climate forecasting.



Mercator Ocean International

The French Mercator Ocean operates a 1/4° global system with enhanced resolution (1/12°) in the tropical and North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. The system uses the NEMO OGCM on an Orca tripolar grid and the LIM prognostic sea ice. Its assimilation system is based on the SEEK filter with fixed base and an adaptive scheme for the variance.




The Italian Group of Operational Oceanography has developed and maintains an Ocean Forecasting System for the Mediterranean Sea (MFS) at the Instituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia as part of the Mediterranean Operational Oceanography Network (MOON). The first MFS system began providing weekly forecasts in 2000. It was upgraded in 2005 to deliver daily 10-day forecsts. Assimilation is performed weekly with a 14-day hindcast. At present, MFS is running a system based on NEMO implemented in the Mediterranean on a 1/16° grid with 72 unevenly spaced vertical levels.



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The Japanese Meteorological Research Institute (MRI) developed the Multivariate Ocean Variational Estimation (MOVE/MRI.COM) system which has been operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) for nowcasting and forecasting since March 2008. There are three implementations

(a) Global system (MOVE/MRI.COM-G)
(b) North Pacific system (-NP)
(c) Western North Pacific system (-WNP)

with a multivariate 3DAR and a preconditioned descent scheme. The global system application initialises seasonal- interannual forecasting, while North Pacific system applications are ocean forecasting, sea surface temperature prediction, and oil spill forecasting. Reanalyses have also been conducted for climate analysis.




NCEP has implemented a prediction system in the North Atlantic called Real-time Ocean Forecast System (RTOFS). Operated on a daily basis to provide 5-day forecasts of ocean state, RTOFS is designed to provide seamless boundary and initial conditions to more regional systems and to biogeochemical systems. RTOFS started to run in near-real-time in 2005. Its system is based on HYCOM, including body tides implemented in the North Atlantic on a curvilinear coordinate grid, whose horizontal resolution ranges from 18km in the eastern North Atlantic to 4km in the Gulf of Mexico, and with 26 hybrid coordinates on the vertical.




The National Marine Environmental Forecast Centre of China (NMEFC) of the State Oceanographic Administration has implemented an operational ocean analysis system to estimate temperature and salinity fields in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This system was launched in 2008 to provide monthly real-time monitoring of ENSO events that have large impact on Chinese climate variability.
The system is based on an OGCM developed by the Institute of Atmospheric Science.




A specific Brazilian effort on operational short-range Ocean Forecasting started in 2008 under the Oceanographic Modeling and Observation Network (REMO). REMO is formed by the Brazilian Navy Center of Hydrography (CHM), Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), University of São Paulo (USP) and Petrobras Research and Development Center Leopoldo Américo Miguez de Mello (CENPES). The general goals are to do research in physical oceanography and to develop operational ocean forecasting systems over the tropical Atlantic and the South Atlantic for a broad range of users of oceanographic information, including the off-shore petroleum industry.




Towards an Operational Prediction system for the North Atlantic European coastal Zones developed at the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Norway, has been operational since January 2003. In March 2008, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (met.no) began exploiting the TOPAZ system in its operational suite. TOPAZ uses the HYCOM model and Ensemble Kalman Filter and covers the North Atlantic and Arctic configuration with 11-16 km resolution and 22 hybrid vertical layers