Upgrade of NOS Lake Erie Operational Forecast System (LEOFS) to FVCOM : model development and hindcast skill assessment
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Upgrade of NOS Lake Erie Operational Forecast System (LEOFS) to FVCOM : model development and hindcast skill assessment
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Upgrade of NOS Lake Erie Operational Forecast System (LEOFS) to FVCOM : model development and hindcast skill assessment
  • Description:
    "NOS Lake Erie Operational Forecast System (LEOFS) is a three-dimensional lake forecast system which uses near real-time atmospheric observations and meteorological forecasts to generate hourly nowcast and forecast guidance out to 60 hours of three-dimensional water temperature and currents and two-dimensional water levels for Lake Erie. The original version of LEOFS uses the Great Lakes version of the Princeton Ocean Model (POMGL) as its core three-dimensional numerical oceanographic forecast model and has a horizontal resolution of 5 km and 11 vertical sigma (terrain-following) levels. A new version of LEOFS has been developed to use the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) with a horizontal resolution ranging from 100 m near the shore to 2.5 km offshore and with 21 vertical sigma levels. The new version is a collaborative project between NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), the National Ocean Service's Coast Survey Development Laboratory (CSDL) and the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), and the FVCOM Development Team at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. The accuracy of predictions from the new LEOFS version was evaluated by comparisons to observations for three NOS skill assessment scenarios: 1) hindcast, 2) the semi-operational nowcast, and 3) the semi-operational forecast guidance. This report describes the results of the hindcast skill assessment. A similar skill assessment report for the semi-operational nowcasts and forecast guidance is being prepared by CO-OPS. The hindcast simulations were conducted for 2005 and 2006. These simulations were forced by hourly observed water levels at NOS NWLON gauges at Gibraltar, Mich. and Buffalo, N.Y., estimated water temperatures at the mouth of the Detroit River and hourly surface meteorological analyses generated by interpolating overwater and adjusted overland observations. The hindcasts were compared to water level observations at gauges along the U.S. and Canadian shore, to water temperature observations at coastal stations and offshore fixed buoys, and to water temperature data from thermistor strings during April - October 2005. The hindcasts demonstrated excellent skill for hourly water levels and surface water temperatures during both years and met the NOS acceptance criteria at the majority of stations. However, the hindcasts failed to meet the NOS acceptance criteria at all verification gauges in predicting the amplitude and timing of extreme high and low water level events. The hindcasts of sub-surface water temperatures demonstrated satisfactory or excellent skill during 2005 in the top layers, but performed poorly in the mid-layers and in the deep portion of the eastern basin"--Executive summary.
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