4.1 The Ocean Modeling System at the Naval Oceanographic Office

Tuesday, 8 January 2013: 3:30 PM
Room 18B (Austin Convention Center)
Frank L. Bub, Naval Oceanographic Office, Stennis Space Center, MS

The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) runs an operational suite of ocean forecast models ranging from a 9km horizontal resolution global Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM), to a 3km regional Navy Coastal Ocean Model (NCOM), to a sub-1km DELFT3D model. Three-dimensional, three- to five-day forecasts of physical ocean properties, including temperature, salinity, currents, and surface elevation, are distributed as NetCDF files and images. These products are made available for public use via National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration web services. This talk will show examples of NAVOCEANO ocean model products for US coastal waters. These models are developed by research and development centers like the Naval Research Laboratory and transition to operations through a stringent vetting process, which helps us assess the models' skills for various applications, establish confidence in their products, and provide users with indications of strengths and weaknesses. While these assessments are presently based on model-observation comparisons, oceanography is following meteorology into ensemble modeling to determine probabilistic skill. We will summarize some of these evaluation approaches and the results. Today's ocean models are forced by relatively independent atmospheric models, but the future systems will couple ocean-atmosphere-land-ice-biology in a truly holistic environmental forecasting system. The presentation will conclude with a look at present capabilities and the future of coupled modeling.
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