Fourth AMS Student Conference


Improving Marine and Coastal Forecasts Using high Resolution Meteorological Data from the Port Jefferson Ferry

Melissa H. Ou, SUNY, Stony Brook, NY; and D. Waliser and J. S. Tongue

Long Island Sound (LIS) is highly utilized by both recreational and commercial mariners. Until recently, the only meteorological data available to marine weather forecasters in real time was from the surrounding land based stations with a void of data over Long Island Sound. This made forecasting for the Sound and surrounding coastal areas challenging. High resolution meteorological data from the Port Jefferson Ferry was integrated into the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices (NWS WFO) to improve marine forecasts, further coastal and marine related research, and provide more weather and ocean information for mariners. The efforts to provide this new data was motivated by boaters lacking sufficient data in the LIS, particularly on the north shore of Long Island.

To access this new, high resolution meteorological data, the NWS WFO at Upton, NY collaborated with the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) and SUNY at Stony Brook to increase the availability of real time data observations over LIS, from Pt. Jefferson, NY to Bridgeport, CT. New meteorological instruments aboard the Port Jefferson Ferry provide real time observations such as wind, temperature, and relative humidity. This data is interpolated to ten defined locations that are treated as “buoy stations” across the LIS. Hourly data is collected every 30 minutes and is sent to the NDBC, which makes the data available online to the public and to the NWS forecasting offices. Here the data is ingested by the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) for display and analysis. Then the data is used by the Local Analysis and Prediction System within AWIPS for objective analysis.

The integration of data from stationary buoys and the transient ferry has allowed forecasters to increase their knowledge of wind patterns and resultant wind waves on the Sound, allowing more accurate predictions for wind and wave fields. In the future, this data can help further marine and atmospheric research in the coastal region, as well as improve marine forecasts. With proven capability to utilize this data, forecasters would like to see data from additional ferries including the ones over the eastern portion of Long Island Sound. Additionally, it is envisioned that a wave height sensor would greatly add to the forecaster's understanding.

Poster Session 1, Student Conference Poster Session
Sunday, 9 January 2005, 5:30 PM-5:30 PM

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