Coastal Environments Interactive Symposium on Developments in Operational and Research Coastal Oceanography and Meteorology


Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center

Mike Clancy, FNMOC, Monterey, CA

The U.S. Navy's Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center (FNMOC; see plays a significant role in the National capability for operational weather and ocean prediction through its operation of sophisticated global and regional meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) models, extending from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean. Fleet Numerical operates around-the-clock, 365 days per year and distributes METOC products to military and civilian users around the world, both ashore and afloat, through a variety of means, including a rapidly growing and innovative use of Web technology. FNMOC's customers include all branches of the Department of Defense (DoD), other government organizations such as the National Weather Service, private companies such as the Weather Channel, a number of colleges and universities, and the general public.

FNMOC acquires and processes over 6 million METOC observations per day—creating one of the world's most comprehensive real-time databases of meteorological and oceanographic observations for assimilation into its models. FNMOC employs three primary models, the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS), the Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS), and the WaveWatch III model (WW3), along with a number of specialized models and related applications. NOGAPS is a global weather model, driving nearly all other FNMOC models and applications in some fashion. COAMPS is a high-resolution regional model that has proved to be particularly valuable for forecasting weather and ocean conditions in highly complex coastal areas. WW3 is a state-of-the-art ocean wave model that is employed both globally and regionally in support of a wide variety of naval operations. Other models support and supplement the main models with predictions of ocean thermal structure, ocean currents, sea-ice characteristics, and other data. In general, FNMOC strives to treat the air-ocean environment as a fully integrated system, from the top of the atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, placing special emphasis on the air-ocean interface.

FNMOC is undergoing a revolutionary transformation to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. As a consequence of this transformation, FNMOC will strive to become (1) more focused and less general in its product suite, (2) less concerned with volume of products and more focused on quality of products, and (3) more flexible and less scheduled in its operational production process. Increasingly, FNMOC will concentrate its efforts to deliver excellent and highly specialized METOC products to meet the unique needs of its customers. At the same time, FNMOC will further develop and build on strategic partnerships with other organizations to further improve and strengthen the overall National posture in weather and ocean prediction.

Session 1, Operational Centers
Tuesday, 11 February 2003, 8:45 AM-9:45 AM

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