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Upgrade of NOS Lake Michigan and Lake Huron operational forecast systems to FVCOM : model development and hindcast skill assessment
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Upgrade of NOS Lake Michigan and Lake Huron operational forecast systems to FVCOM : model development and hindcast skill assessment
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  • Description:
    NOS Lake Michigan-Huron Operational Forecast System (LMHOFS) is a three-dimensional lake forecast modeling system which uses near real-time atmospheric analyses, river observations and numerical weather prediction model forecast guidance to generate hourly nowcasts and forecast guidance out to 120 hours of three-dimensional water temperatures and currents and two-dimensional water levels for Lakes Michigan and Huron. The present operational NOS forecast systems for the two lakes, LMOFS and LHOFS, use the Great Lakes version of the Princeton Ocean Model (POMGL) as its core three-dimensional numerical oceanographic forecast model and have a horizontal resolution of 5 km (3.1 mi) and 20 vertical sigma (terrain-following) levels and provide forecast guidance out to 60 hours. LMHOFS has been developed using the Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) with a horizontal resolution ranging from 100 m (328 ft) near the shore to 2.5 km (1.6 mi) offshore and with 21 vertical sigma levels. In addition, unlike current LHOFS and LMOFS, this new OFS combined Lake Michigan and Lake Huron together as one model grid domain in order to simulate the flow between the two lakes via the Straits of Mackinac. LMHOFS is another collaborative project among NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL), the National Ocean Service’s (NOS) Coast Survey Development Laboratory (CSDL), the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), and the FVCOM Development Team at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. NOS’ Lake Erie Operational Forecast System (LEOFS) was the first of the Great Lakes Operational Forecast System to be upgraded to FVCOM. LEOFS was implemented operational in 2016. The accuracy of predictions from LMHOFS was evaluated by thorough NOS 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 NOS/CO-OPS.
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