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J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6(4), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse6040135

Model Development and Hindcast Simulations of NOAA’s Integrated Northern Gulf of Mexico Operational Forecast System

1
NOAA/National Ocean Service/Coast Survey Development Laboratory, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
2
NOAA/National Ocean Service/Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 October 2018 / Revised: 3 November 2018 / Accepted: 6 November 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
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Abstract

NOAA’s National Ocean Service is upgrading three existing northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) operational nowcast/forecast systems (OFS) by integrating them into one single system (INGOFS) and developing additional domain coverage to encompass the lower Mississippi River, Lake Pontchartrain, Texas coastal embayments, and Mexican coastal waters. The system will produce real-time nowcast and short-range forecast guidance for water levels, 3-dimensional currents, water temperature, and salinity. INGOFS will be implemented using the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM). This paper describes the model configuration and results from a one-year (2 August 2016–1 August 2017) hindcast simulation. The model grid is composed of about 300,000 nodes and 600,000 elements, and has a spatial resolution ranging from 45 m near the coast to around 10 km on the open ocean boundary. It uses the FVCOM wetting and drying feature, the quadratic bottom friction scheme, and the two-equation model of the Mellor-Yamada Level 2.5 turbulence closure scheme. The hindcast results of water levels, surface temperatures, and salinity were verified by comparing the model time series with in situ observations. The root-mean-squared errors are about 0.08 m for water levels, about 1.1 °C for temperatures, and about 3.7 psu for salinity. The hindcast configuration will be further tested in a nowcast/forecast environment for a one-year period. The upgraded system is anticipated to be in operational production in mid-2020. View Full-Text
Keywords: Gulf of Mexico; operational nowcast and forecast system; Finite Volume Community Ocean Model; water level; temperature; salinity Gulf of Mexico; operational nowcast and forecast system; Finite Volume Community Ocean Model; water level; temperature; salinity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Yang, Z.; Zheng, L.; Richardson, P.; Myers, E.; Zhang, A. Model Development and Hindcast Simulations of NOAA’s Integrated Northern Gulf of Mexico Operational Forecast System. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6, 135.

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