NOAA's Oceanic Heat Content Products for the N. Atlantic and Pacific Basins

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 9:30 AM
Room C211 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Eileen Maria Maturi, NOAA/NESDIS/STAR, College Park, MD; and D. Donahue, L. K. Shay, J. K. Brewster, and J. Guo

NOAA NESDIS is generating operational Oceanic Heat Content (OHC) Products for the N. Atlantic, N. Pacific and S. Pacific Basins. The operational algorithm implemented was developed at the University of Miami/Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), where it has been validated and running for over 10 years. The OHC product measures the integrated vertical temperature from the sea surface to the depth of the 26C isotherm. The Algorithm uses a reduced gravity model to estimate the 20 degree isotherm depth based on objectively analyzed blended sea surface height anomaly fields from operational altimeters (SARAL, Jason-2, and Cryosat-2) and the NOAA/NESDIS Geo-Polar SST analyses. OHC provides additional useful information about the ocean structure (including the mixed layer) than just SSTs can provide because it locates the energetic mesoscale eddy structure of currents that have deep, warm structures. NOAA Coral Reef Watch (CRW), which uses sea-surface temperature anomalies (SSTAs) to monitor the ocean conditions on coral reefs, will utilize the estimated isotherm depths to monitor temperature variations at depth. The National Hurricane Center (NHC), the NWS Pacific Regional Headquarters and the Typhoon Warning Center (TWC) will use the operational OHC products to improve hurricane intensity forecasts and increase warning lead times for high impact events, which will reduce the loss of life and property