Overview of a real-time forecast system for Georges Bank

D. R. Lynch

Real-time oceanic forecasts were constructed at sea on Georges Bank during Spring 1999. The project was viewed as a computational "experiment". Three interrelated hypotheses were framed:

A practical nowcast/forecast system can be constructed and delivered to shipboard scientists. (Practical = better than climatology and fast)

A data-assimilative hindcast can improve interpretation of necessarily sparse data

A Real-Time forecast can improve ocean sampling: Water, Dye, Planktonic Organisms

Six institutions were represented for 66 days at sea.

Conclusions reached include

Fast real-time inversions of a state-of-the-art 3D shelf model can be made at sea, driven by shipboard ADCP data.

Real-time data-assimilative forecasts can be made, and forecast products delivered at sea, with assimilative delay of 1/2 day or less for a 3-day forecast.

Forecast accuracy of 3.4 km/day appears feasible for drifters and dye patches.

Real-time assimilation of species-specific plankton locations was achieved.

Multi-ship operations are possible and were achieved; there are serious networking issues among ships and ship-to-shore.

This talk introduces the following more detialed discussions:

C. Naimie and C. Flagg, Real-time data processing and inversion procedure http://globec.whoi.edu/globec-dir/reports/siworkshop1999/naimie.html

F. Werner, B. Blanton, R. Luettich, Results April: Physics + Far-Field Forecast Products http://globec.whoi.edu/globec-dir/reports/siworkshop1999/werner.html

D. McGillicuddy, Real time forecasting and biological data assimilation on Georges Bank http://globec.whoi.edu/globec-dir/reports/siworkshop1999/mcgillicuddy.html

A poster describing the results is available:

D. R. Lynch et al., Real-time data assimilation on Georges Bank http://globec.whoi.edu/globec-dir/reports/siworkshop1999/lynch_poster.html
For more information, contact the project web site at