Joint Session J2.5 COMET Marine and Coastal Meteorology Modules

Wednesday, 3 August 2005: 2:30 PM
Ambassador Ballroom (Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington D.C.)
Kevin Fuell, UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO; and D. A. Wesley and A. J. Bol

Presentation PDF (1.2 MB)

The marine meteorology effort within the COMET program continues to support the National Weather Service (NWS) Marine Professional Development Series ( including material that helps build the physical oceanographic knowledge base of the forecaster. One portion of this training discusses the characteristics of wave growth and propagation in the open ocean and how to make a true sea state forecast. These materials are intended for forecasters inexperienced with the marine environment and are suitable for public and private audiences. A second portion of these marine distance learning materials examines the processes that take place in the coastal zone. Specifically, a series of four web-based modules is being developed on the topic of rip currents, titled ‘NWS Mission and Partnerships', ‘Nearshore Fundamentals', ‘Rip Current Forecasting', and ‘Regional Case Studies'. During May 2004, the NWS, in partnership with the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) and NOAA's National Sea Grant College Program, started a national public safety campaign about rip currents – Break the Grip of the Rip! These modules are intended to support NWS coastal and lake shore forecasters, who will be responsible for determining the daily rip current hazard information provided in the new Surf Zone Forecast product. In addition, the COMET program will produce a module on shallow water waves that will examine how wave characteristics are changed based on the bathymetry of the coastal zone. This module will also cover forecasting breaking wave heights, wave run up, and tsunamis as a special case of a shallow water wave.

As part of COMET's Mesosale Primer (see, several modules address forecaster training needs regarding coastal meteorology. Examples are West Coast Fog, Dynamically-forced Fog, Coastally Trapped Wind Reversals, Cold Air Damming, Coastal Jets and Sea Breezes. These training materials contain material that is primarily at the undergraduate level. Each module contains a real forecasting scenario, scientific content relating to forecasting these phenomena, case examples, interactive questions as the content and cases proceed, and a quiz. A future module on Landfalling Fronts and Cyclones is currently planned.

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