Development, Implementation, and Skill Assessment of the NOAA/NOS Great Lakes Operational Forecast System
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS DETACHMENT STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS
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The NOAA Great Lakes Operational Forecast System GLOFS uses near-real-time atmospheric observations and numerical weather prediction forecast guidance to produce three-dimensional forecasts of water temperature and currents, and two-dimensional forecasts of water levels of the Great Lakes. This system, originally called the Great Lakes forecasting system GLFS, was developed at The Ohio State University and NOAAs Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory GLERL in 1989. In 1996, a workstation version of the GLFS was ported to GLERL to generate semi-operational nowcasts and forecasts daily. In 2004, GLFS went through rigorous skill assessment and was transitioned to the National Ocean Service NOS Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services CO-OPS in Silver Spring, MD. GLOFS has been making operational nowcasts and forecasts at CO-OPS since September 30, 2005. Hindcast, nowcast, and forecast evaluations using the NOSdeveloped skill assessment software tool indicated both surface water levels and temperature predictions passed the NOS specified criteria at a majority of the validation locations with relatively low root mean square error 4-8 cm for water levels and 0.5 to 1deg C for surface water temperatures. The difficulty of accurately simulating seiches generated by storms in particular in shallow lakes like Lake Erie remains a major source of error in water level prediction and should be addressed in future improvements of the forecast system.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography