A relocatable coupled atmosphere-ocean prediction system

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Thursday, 8 January 2015: 9:30 AM
224A (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Harold Ritchie, EC, Dartmouth, NS, Canada; and N. Bernier, A. Charles, L. Fillion, H. Niu, R. Pawlowicz, and A. M. Thompson

A research and development project to develop a relocatable coupled atmosphere-ocean prediction system is in progress within the Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response (MEOPAR) academic Network of Centres of Excellence. MEOPAR brings together Canadian researchers, stakeholders and users in a multi-sectoral partnership to better observe, predict and respond to marine hazards (see www.meopar.ca). This project's main goals are: build and test a coupled atmosphere-ocean forecast system that can be set up within hours of a marine emergency, anywhere in Canadian waters; provide short-term forecasts (hours to days) of physical properties of the atmosphere and ocean to guide response to a marine emergency; develop the ability to assimilate data (e.g., observations from altimeters and gliders) and downscale predictions from larger scale models; develop modules for offline prediction of movement and dispersion of plumes of hazardous materials; and develop parallel mechanisms for rapid appraisal of socio-economic values and risks in coastal areas, including community based approaches. The atmospheric model is the operational Environment Canada Global Environmental Multi-scale (GEM) weather forecast model, and the ocean model is a shelf version of the NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean) ocean forecast system, starting from one already implemented by the Canadian Operational Network of Coupled Environmental PredicTion Systems (CONCEPTS) for the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Two field tests are planned during this first 5-year phase of MEOPAR: 1) in the Strait of Georgia (SOG) during years 1 to 4 with in situ ocean observations from VENUS (e.g., surface current fields from CODAR, temperature and salinity from moorings and instrumented ferries), and a drifter experiment, with the ocean model forced by winds from a high resolution forecast model developed for the west coast; and 2) on the Scotian Shelf (SS) in years 4 to 5 with in situ ocean data collected by the OTN (Ocean Tracking Network), supplemented by a specially designed field program including a small scale tracer release experiment. We are now into the third year of the project and are on track to meet our goals. This presentation will provide an overview of our activities, illustrate systems developed and research in progress, and discuss plans for years 4 and 5 of the project.