5.3 Development and Implementation of a Regional Ocean Nowcast/Forecast System

Wednesday, 9 January 2013: 2:00 PM
Room 18B (Austin Convention Center)
Yi Chao, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; and Z. Li, J. Farrara, H. Zhang, R. He, and F. Chai

This talk will present experiences and lessons learned during the development of a regional 3-dimensional ocean nowcast/forecast system and its implementation in the California coastal ocean, Alaska's Prince William Sound, and the Gulf of Mexico. The model is based on the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) with multi-domain nested configurations. A multi-scale 3-dimensional variational (3DVAR) data assimilation scheme is used to assimilate both in situ (e.g., gliders) and remotely sensed data from both satellite and land-based platforms (e.g., high-frequency (HF) radars). For the ROMS assimilation system, the spatial resolution for the most inner domain is typically 1 km, comparable to the highest resolution satellite sea surface temperature and HF radar current observations. Further downscaling experiments using the multi-domain nested ROMS without data assimilation have been conducted with the highest resolution as fine as 75 meters. An ensemble modeling methodology has been tested to estimate the forecast uncertainties. Preliminary results coupling the regional circulation model with biogeochemistry/ecosystem/fishery models will be presented. Several demonstration cases using ROMS forecasts in support of decision-making by the U.S. Coast Guard during Search and Rescue operations will be discussed.
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