1096 Impact-Based Decision Support Services at the Ocean Prediction Center

Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Marshall Huffman, NOAA, College Park, MD

In early December, 2017, the ocean going tug RESOLVE PIONEER departed Busan, Korea en route to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. According to details received by Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) forecasters from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), while underway, the ship’s port engine became inoperable due to a shaft failure and the crew onboard expressed low confidence of completing repairs while underway. It was noted that the vessel also had difficulty maintaining consistent heading due to a satellite compass failure. As a result, the vessel became moored along the north side of Attu Island and a call was placed to the USCG (Juneau District 7) to aid in escorting the tug back to Dutch Harbor. In order to provide detailed weather support for the USCG’s mission, OPC forecasters began providing Spot Forecasts for the vessel as it remained moored.

This work will highlight the Impact-based Decision Support Services (IDSS) provided to the USCG by OPC forecasters in the form of Spot Forecasts and also present the hurricane-force low pressure system that impacted the operation during the period December 9-11, 2017. OPC’s text and graphical forecasts, along with specific, critical weather information shared with the USCG, helped to provide safety and support to one of OPC’s core partners on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean. This is in keeping with the OPC Strategic Plan to build a maritime Weather Ready Nation that is ready, responsive, and resilient to extreme weather events at sea.

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