Joint Poster Session 1 Maritime Extreme Weather: Challenges and Opportunities

Wednesday, 9 January 2019: 4:00 PM-6:00 PM
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Hosts: (Joint between the Special Symposium on Mesoscale Meteorological Extremes: Understanding, Prediction, and Projection; the Seventh Symposium on the Weather, Water, and Climate Enterprise; and the 17th Symposium on the Coastal Environment )
Kathryn K. Gilbert, NOAA/NWS, OST/MDL, Silver Spring, MD; Thomas J. Cuff, NOAA/NWS/Ocean Prediction Center, NOAA/NWS/NCEP, College Park, MD and Michael J. DeFlorio, NASA, Surface Hydrology, Pasadena, CA

The session will feature both contributed and invited talks from across the weather and marine enterprise (public, private, academic). The Symposium on Maritime Extreme Weather will solicit papers on the following topics:  

Dangerous Storms at Sea

Extratropical and tropical cyclones produce rapidly changing and extreme weather conditions over large areas of the ocean, threatening the safety of life at sea, causing billions of dollars in time lost and ship and cargo damage annually, and damaging coastal communities. However, there remain significant gaps in our understanding of these storms. Rapid intensification of tropical cyclones is an important forecast challenge that is receiving increasing attention in operations and research. Less well-known, but also critical, rapid extratropical cyclogenesis at sea presents a unique forecast problem that requires a greater understanding of air–sea interaction and coupled model improvements, particularly in areas such as the heavily traveled intersection of major coastal storm tracks and the Gulf Stream.


Weather Forecast Needs of the Maritime Industry

The maritime industry would benefit from products and services that extend the forecast horizon beyond the present focus on days 0–4; provide probabilistic forecasts of hazards and high waves; and improve prediction of sea ice development, movement, and decay. Additionally, as cargo and cruise ships continue to get larger, carrying ever more goods and passengers, consideration must be given to providing forecasts and hazardous weather warnings that address the challenges such large ships must face. Stronger public–private partnerships within the maritime weather enterprise will help ensure mariners get the best possible forecasts and warning services.


Weather Observations on the High Seas

Strengthening the global ocean observing system (in situ and satellite based) and achieving optimal spatial distribution is an international challenge highlighted by the WMO Marine Meteorology and Oceanography Programme. A more robust engagement with commercial vessel operators is needed to increase the number and quality of weather observations from ships of opportunity, improving forecasts. Efforts to increase international collaboration and the sharing of remotely sensed ocean surface vector winds and altimeter data are needed to better analyze and predict areas of dangerous winds and waves at sea.


Future of Communication and Dissemination Systems for Mariners

Challenges exist in exchanging information among ships, national hydrometeorological centers, and commercial weather providers. Recent incidents at sea demonstrate that such challenges may adversely impact decision-making by mariners.  This situation is further exacerbated by a maritime weather infrastructure that remains heavily reliant on decades-old technology for dissemination, such as radiofax and text broadcasts.

Spatial Analysis of Ship Traffic in the North Atlantic Ocean during Severe Weather from March 12–19, 2018
Nicole Ashley Casamassina, NCEP, College Park, MD; and J. M. Sienkiewicz and L. J. Phillips

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