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RTOFS report. with a short diversion to other NCEP and NOAA activities. Hendrik L. Tolman Chief, Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch NOAA / NWS / NCEP / EMC Hendrik.Tolman@NOAA.gov. Almost out of scope. Other activities in NOAA relevant for GOVST GFDL: Climate scale ocean modeling:

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rtofs report

RTOFS report

with a short diversion to other NCEP

and NOAA activities.

Hendrik L. Tolman

Chief, Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch



almost out of scope
Almost out of scope
  • Other activities in NOAA relevant for GOVST
    • GFDL:
      • Climate scale ocean modeling:
        • Going from MOM to GOLD.
        • Moving to coupled atmosphere-wave-ocean.
      • Appears to be some renewed interest in coupled hurricane modeling.
    • NOS:
      • Operational models transitioned to NCEP compute:
        • GL, Chesapeake, Delaware and Tampa Bay.
        • Northern Gulf, SF Bay, Columbia river next.
      • IOOS RA-s.
    • NOAA storm surge roadmap team lead by NOS
      • Strong link with USACE, Academia.
almost out of scope1
Almost out of scope
  • Ditto at NCEP:
    • CFS:
      • Probabilistic seasonal forecasting up to 9 months.
      • CFC v2 operation, v3 in design stages.
      • ENKF being set up for GODAS (MOM4).
    • Other relevant products …



nested RTOFS coupled to HWRF


  • Four major efforts:
    • Eddy resolving ocean modeling.
    • Eddy resolving ocean initialization.
    • Coupled modeling for hurricanes.
    • Coupled modeling for weather – CFS / NEMS.
    • All RTOFS models based on the community HYCOM model, MMAB is part of the HYCOM consortium.

Operational 2005

Operational 10/25/2011

Live testing

Early development

rtofs atlantic
  • RTOFS-Atlantic
    • First full HYCOM model to become operational at NCEP.
    • Replacing previous POM model for East Coast (excluding Gulf of Mexico).
      • Lack of capability to get Gulf Stream to detach properly from Cap Hatteras.
    • Issues with model:
      • Left in limbo to get RTOFS-Global in fast.
      • Major boundary fixes this week.
      • To be nested in RTOFS-Global.
      • Expect to be fully up to speed in 6 months.
        • Next decision point: do we keep this model around?
          • Tides.
          • 4-6 km coastal resolution for US.
rtofs global

paradigm shift for NWS

  • Push to global model (vs. regional models):
    • Satisfy requirements from NOAA SAB.
    • Provide boundary data for regional models.
  • Adopting existing 1/12° model from NRL (NOPP).
    • GFS forcing (including diurnal cycle).
  • Timeline:
    • Operational 10/25/2011 with NRL/NAVOCEANO (NCODA) initialization (daily feed from NAVO).
    • FY2014: full initialization at NCEP.
  • NOMADS as main distribution points (OpenDAP, NetCDF).
  • RTOFS-Atlantic as testbed for global.
  • Linking to NOS Coastal Ocean Modeling Framework.
  • No tides yet (unlike RTOFS-Atlantic)
rtofs global1

Grid and layer 1 temperature snapshot:

Conversion to GFS forcing “clean”, but we want to look in more detail at the Artic Ocean.

rtofs global2

00 Z

06 Z

12 Z

18 Z

Forecast Step 1 using GFS from n-00 to f-48 hours

Forecast Step 2 using GFS from f-49 to f-96 hours

Forecast Step 3 using GFS from f-97 to f-144 hours

Nowcast/Hindcast using GDAS from n-48 to n-00 hours

Initialization file from NAVO at n-48 hours via TOC

Post-processing: generation of NetCDF files after each step (adding selected GRIB2 later).

rtofs global4
  • Products:
    • Class I : Global netCDF files on native horizontal grid but interpolated to isolevels. Delivery via NOMADS, ftpprd and NODC archives.
      • Surface 3 hourly files (8 variables) ~ 120 GB per cycle
      • Volume 3D files daily (8 variables, 33 z levels) ~ 160 GB per cycle.
        • Target: General user; maximum flexibility for slicing/dicing data using NOMADS/OpenDAP servers (both GDS & TDS).
    • Class II: Sub-regional and basin GRIB2 files (Mercator grid).
      • Delivery via ftpprd and AWIPS.
      • Surface 3 hourly files (7 variables) ~ 5 GB per cycle
        • Target: Internal NWS needs to provide results on AWIPS or via FTP.
rtofs global5
  • Products cont’ed:
    • Class III: Regional (CONUS-East, CONUS-West, Alaska) netCDF files.
      • Delivery via NOMADS and NODC archives.
      • Volume 6 hourly files (u,v,T,S)
        • Target: Other centers within NCEP (TPC, OPC) and NOS applications.
    • Eventually tide-resolving output time intervals.
      • Requires NOMADS upgrades.
rtofs global6
  • Focus on producing GODAE metrics products
  • Examples follow:
    • Class 1: Differences with SSH fields fromindependent analyses.
    • Class 2: Drifts fromclimatology at selected WOCE sections.
    • Class 3: Location of Gulf Stream.
    • Class 4: Statistics on location of Gulf Stream; Daily comparisonwithindependent SST, SSH data.
  • Working on:
    • Class 3: Transports at more than 100 sections.
    • Class 4: Comparisons of forecasts/analysis with ARGO profiles.
  • EMC became US government lead on
  • ocean plume modeling for Fukushima Dai’ichi ocean contamination.
    • Collaboration in large Interagency work group.
    • Leveraging modeling from Navy, DTRA, NOS.
      • NCEP Navy model data distribution point.
    • CONOPS to rapidly generate actionable information for decision makers.
      • Product 1: Surface particle tracing to identify potentially contaminated areas. (April 6, 180 d)
      • Product 2: Contamination estimates using particle tracing + HYSPLIT atm. Deposits. (April 20, 180 d)
      • Product 3: Full dispersion model as passive decaying tracers, using direct release (NOS) and atm. deposit (NCEP) (dev., still much source issues)

Not for distribution, internal use only

rtofs hwrf
  • Ongoing experiments
    • Real time parallel runs since 2009.
    • Switching over to RTOFS-Global.
    • Many lessons learned
rtofs hwrf1

Intensity Forecast for 6 TCs (186 cases): Gert07L, Irene09L, Katia12L, Maria14L, Ophelia16L, and Philippe17L

HY11=HyHWRF2011; HWRF=operational HWRF

  • HyHWRF average intensity error and bias are the best among participant models, except degradation at 12h in average error and negative bias at 24h.
  • HyHWRF standard deviation is consistently the smallest, except 12 and 24 h.


rtofs hwrf2

Track Forecast for 6 TCs (186 cases): Gert07L, Irene09L, Katia12L, Maria14L, Ophelia16L, and Philippe17L

HY11=HyHWRF2011; HWRF=operational HWRF

  • HyHWRF exhibits comparable performance with HWRF for average track error and standard deviation (STD), except STD outperformance at 96 -120 h. GFDL shows mixed comparison but the best STD.
  • HyHWRF track bias is the same northeastward as HWRF, but the bias magnitude is better than the HWRF. GFDL shows west/northwestward bias.


rtofs nems
  • Working on 0.25 degree HYCOM for coupling to weather models (GFS, CFS).
  • Model setup and free runs successful.
  • Moving to coupled test version with GFS in NEMS in coming year.

Year 5 day 2

Year 5 day 180

  • Some additional considerations on coupling
    • Moving to hurricane coupling including waves.
      • Many more exchange parameters, sea spay to constrain fluxes.
    • Ice model for weather time scale critical for successful weather time scale coupled ocean-atmosphere model.
    • Additional focus on wave-surge model.

WAVEWATCH III – ADCIRC 1-way coupled

NCEP – LSU – ND collaboration

URI coupling approach (I Ginis)