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Opportunities to Improve Marine Forecasting Committee on Opportunities to Improve Marine Observations and Forecasting Marine Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1989
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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved lay the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose membem are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. Ibe National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert HI. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Their is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. The program described in this report is supported by Cooperative Agreement No. 14-12-0001-30416 between the Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Academy of Sciences. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 89-62946 International Standard Book Number 0-309-04090 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 Printed in the United States of America
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COMMITTEE ON OPPORTUNITIES TO IMPROVE MARINE OBSERVATIONS AND FORECASTING PETER R. TATRO, Chairman, Science Applications International Corporation, McLean, Virginia KENNETH ~ BLENKARN, Amoco Production Company (retired), Tulsa, Oklahoma ROBERT T. BUSH, Universe Tankships, Inc., New York, New York MICHAEL H. GLANTZ, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado WILLIAM G. GORDON, New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium, Fort Hancock, New Jersey ROBERT E. HARING, Exxon Production Research Company, Houston, Texas JON F. KLEIN, Consultant, Millburn, New Jersey ALLAN R. ROBINSON, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts KENNETH W. RUGGLES, Systems West, Inc., Carmel, California Govemment Liaisons ROBERT H. FEDEN, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy, Washington, D.C. JAMES S. LYNCH, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, Washington, D.C. RICHARD WAGONER, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, Washington, D.C. Staff CHARLES ~ BOOKMAN, Project Director C. LINCOLN CRANE, Jr., Staff Officer RONALD C. TIPPER, Consultant GLORIA B. GREEN, Project Secretary . . . 111
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MARINE BOARD SIDNEY WALLACE, Chairman, Hill, Betts & Nash, Washington, D.C. BRIAN J. WATT, r~ce-Chainnan, TECHSAVANT, Inc., Kingston, Texas ROGER D. ANDERSON, Cox's Wholesale Seafood, Inc., Tampa, Florida ROBERT G. BEA, NAE, University of California, Berkeley JAMES M. BROADUS III, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Woods Hole, Massachusetts F. PAT DUNN, Shell Oil Company, Houston, Texas LARRY L. GENTRY, Lockheed Advanced Marine Systems, Sunnyvale, California DANA R. KESTER, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island JUDITH KILDOW, Department of Ocean Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts WARREN G. LEBACK, Consultant, Princeton, New Jersey BERNARD LE MEHAUTE, University of Miamia, Florida WILLIAM R. MURDEN, Murden Marine, Ltd., Alexandria, Virginia EUGENE K PENTIMONTI, American President Lines, Ltd., Oakland, California JOSEPH D. PORRICELLI, ECO, Inc., Annapolis, Maryland JERRY R. SCHUBEL, State University of New York, Stony Brook RICHARD J. SEYMOUR, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California ROBERT N. STEINER, Operations, Atlantic Container Line, South Plainfield' New Jersey BRIAN J. WATT, TECHSAVANT, Inc., Kingwood, Texas EDWARD WENK, JR., Seattle, Washington Staff CHARLES ~ BOOKMAN, Director DONALD W. PERKINS, Associate Director C. LINCOLN CRANE, JR., Staff Officer ALEXANDER STAVOVY, Stan Officer SUSAN GARBINI, Staff Officer PAUL SCHOLZ, Research Fellow DORIS C. HOLMES, Staff Associate DELPHINE GLAZE, Administrative Secretary AURORE BLECK, Administrative Secretary GLORIA B. GREEN, Project Secretary CARLA D. MOORE, Project Secretary 1V
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Abstract Significant opportunities to improve marine services and products have been brought about by new observational techniques and high speed com- puters. Exploitation of these opportunities requires better management by increased coordination among the many sponsoring government agencies. Hurricane forecasting was identified as an example of how effectively the present system could work when given priority and cooperation. It is mandatory that current capability be maintained. Evolutionary improvements to the existing ocean forecasting system can be achieved by making better use of the existing data sources, by presenting the resulting analyses and forecasts more frequently to the user community with better spatial and temporal resolution, and by improving the means of dissemination. Revolutionary improvements will require the development of global, coupled ocean-atmospheric models capable of analyzing and predicting on many time and space scales. These models are now feasible because com- puters of sufficient size and speed are becoming available. Atmospheric modeling is a mature science by comparison with ocean modeling; consid- erable effort will be required to develop the ocean models. Both the ocean and atmospheric models will critically require signifi- cantly improved input data if they are to be successful. The United States has the opportunity to establish itself as the world leader in ocean forecast- ing by establishing an operational capability for forecasting critical ocean properties supported by a national operational oceanographic satellite sys- tem. Significant benefits of this system would be manifested in the areas of transportation, ocean energy development, fisheries and recreation, and coastal management. v
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Preface Reliable marine observation and forecasting are essential to the safe and productive use of the sea and the coastal zone. Both commerce and the general public depend increasingly on accurate forecasts of marine conditions and weather over the oceans to prevent losses and to ensure public safety. More and more, the United States is turning to the sea for resources—energy, minerals, food, and commercial and recreational space. In some areas of the continental shelf, thousands of offshore platforms compete for space with commercial fishermen, recreational boaters, and shipping traffic. Elsewhere, fisheries management activities to 200 miles offshore have added hundreds of new vessels to the offshore fishing fleets, and increased shipping traffic has led to designated shipping lanes and ves- sel traffic control. Onshore, low-lying coastal communities are becoming crowded places characterized by high investment. Many new, high-risk ac- tivities are venturing into the harsh offshore environment. Public awareness of coastal crises, whether storm or pollution related, are being enhanced through media coverage. The National Research Council, recognizing the opportunity to exam- ine these trends and to improve safety, appointed a committee under its Marine Board to undertake an interdisciplinary assessment of the needs and expected benefits to be realized by improving the nation's ocean obser- vation and forecasting capabilities. The committee was asked to investigate opportunities to improve marine forecasting brought about by new obser- vational techniques and high-speed computers. The committee was charged with · developing clear statements of user requirements for improved observations and forecasts, Vil , .
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· identifying key issues and supporting facts relating to the need for and provision of improved marine observations and forecasts, and stimulating dialogue among all who are involved with the process of developing, providing, and using marine observations and forecasts. The committee was composed of members with representative exper- tise in the fields of marine meteorology, oceanography, forecasting, and forecast dissemination and from user communities such as fishing, oil and gas extraction, and vessel operation (biographies of committee members appear in Appendix A). The principle guiding the constitution of the com- mittee and its work, consistent with the policy of the National Research Council, was not to exclude members with potential biases that might ac- company expertise vital to the study, but to seek balance and fair treatment. The committee was assisted by representatives of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Navy who were desig- nated as liaison representatives. The committee dealt with synoptic scale phenomena in the atmosphere and with mesoscale phenomena in the oceans. It did not address long- term, seasonal variability or other long-term phenomena. Furthermore, its inquiry was limited to physical processes; it did not address the forecasting of biological phenomena. The committee met several times during a two-year period commencing in November 1987. Presentations were solicited from government and private organizations that provide marine forecasts. A questionnaire was developed and a survey was conducted of a representative population of the community that uses or derives significant benefit from marine forecasts and observations (Appendix B). Based on the survey results, a national meeting was convened at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academy of Sciences in Irvine, California, on September 27-29, 1988. It brought together members of the user and provider communities for paper presentations, open forum discussions, and the development of working group papers on specific issues. The papers appear as part of this report. The agenda and participants of the national meeting are listed in Appendixes C and D. The results of the national meeting are documented in five working group reports that are attached to this volume (Appendixes E-I): Working Group 1- Wind, Wave, and Swell; Working Group 2 Topical and Extratropical Storms; Working Group 3 Currents, Ocean Processes, and Ice; Working Group ~Nearshore Forecasting; and .. . Vlll
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. Working Group 5—Collection, Reporting, Dissemination, and Dis- play. The committee's findings and recommendations are based on pre- sentations made to the committee, the results of the users survey, the presentations, discussions, and deliberations of the providers and users who participated in the national meeting, and the professional experience of the committee members. The entire report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors, but only Chapters 1-3 have been subjected to the report review criteria established by the National Research Council's Report Review Committee. The workshop reports have been reviewed for factual correctness. The committee gratefully aclmowledges the generous contributions of time and information provided by the liaison representatives and their agencies and the many individuals who participated in the data-gathering process inherent to the project. Special thanks are extended to all those who communicated with the project by telephone and mail, including those who responded to the questionnaire and participated in the national meeting. Glenn Flittner of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) helped the committee clarify the scope of the project in the early months. Richard Posthumus of Sea-L~nd Company assisted with the design of the questionnaire and in identifying potential recipients in the maritime industry. Walter Pereyra of Profish International provided valuable insight concerning the environmental forecasting needs of the Northwest fisheries. Cathy Beech of Science Applications International Corporation provided administrative assistance to the Marine Board staff. The extraordinary cooperation and interest in the committee's work of so many knowledgeable individuals were both gratifying and essential. IX
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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Findings, xv Recommendations, six 1 THE MARINE OBSERVING AND FORECASTING SYSTEM.. Observing Systems, 1 Data Collection, 5 Global Weather and Ocean Prediction, 6 Tailored Marine Forecasting, 8 Product Dissemination, 11 Data Archival and Research and Development, 12 2 USERS OF MARINE FORECASTS ........................... Responses to Committee Survey, 15 Workshop Description, 20 Reconciliation of Questionnaire and Workshop Results, 22 Economic Perspective, 24 Expected Benefits of Forecasting Improvements, 26 3 FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS . . . Finding 1: Improved Coordination is Needed, 29 Finding 2: Hurricane Forecasting is Adequate and Sources of Data and Forecasting Techniques Should be Maintained, 31 Finding 3: More Synoptic Data Are Needed, 32 Finding 4: Improvements Are Needed in Resolution in Space and Time, and Forecast Horizon, 35 Finding 5: Improved Dissemination Systems and Linkage to Navy Marine Facsimile Broadcast Are Needed, 37 X1 . . . ...... X111 .1 ..14 ....29
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Finding 6: The Need for New Systems for Forecasting Internal Ocean Weather Exists, 40 Finding 7: Efforts Are Needed to Understand and Operationally Forecast Episodic Waves and Explosive Cyclogenesis, 41 APPENDIX A Biographies of Committee Members APPENDIX B Questionnaire and Responses 48 APPENDIX C Workshop Participants 57 APPENDIX D Workshop Agenda 60 APPENDIX E Working Group 1: Wind, Wave, and Swell 64 APPENDIX F Working Group 2: Topical and Extratropical Storms . 74 APPENDIX G Working Group 3: Currents, Ocean Processes, and Ice ~ 96 APPENDIX H APPENDIX I Working Group 4: Nearshore Forecasting Working Group 5: Collection, Reporting, Dissemination, and Display.............. . . X11 .... ........... 44 ....... 108 117
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Executive Summary During the past two decades the coastal areas of the United States have experienced increased population and increased commercial and recre- ational use both ashore and on the sea. Land values in most coastal regions have slyrocketed because of the greater demand for coastal properties. Iburism has grown into a multibillion dollar per year enterprise. Declara- tion of the Fisheries Management Zone and the Exclusive Economic Zone have extended U.S. commercial interests in minerals, mining, energy extrac- tion, and fisheries farther out to sea. The majority of international trade in energy materials, bunk cargo, and finished goods continues to move by sea. Ships may be fewer in number, but they are larger in capacity; the total tonnage moving by sea continues to increase. All these activities, including the construction of private homes, waterfront structures, recreational small craft, fishing fleets, and cargo vessels, and environmental protection mea- sures are capital intensive. Some offshore ventures, such as those of the oil and gas industry, are particularly high-value high-risk operations. All activities at sea and on the coasts are sensitive to atmospheric and oceanic conditions. Hurricane winds, waves, and storm tides can inflict losses of life and property on a massive scale. Forecasting the intensity and track of hurricanes is of paramount importance. At the other end of the forecasting spectrum is providing information on conditions, such as ocean temperature, that can be used by the fishing industry and recreational fishing community. As use of the sea and coastal regions has grown, so has dependence on the forecast of meteorological and oceanic conditions to avoid loss, ensure the safety of lifer and maximize the economic well- being of industry and commerce. In addition, the forecasting of marine conditions has secured for itself a vital role in protecting the environment both for the safe disposal of waste products and the prompt response to pollution incidents. . .. X111
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Recognizing these facts and further recognizing that marine forecast- ing is being altered by rapidly changing technology such as supercomputers and satellite-borne remote sensing systems, the National Research Council under its Marine Board commissioned a committee to undertake an inter- disciplinary assessment of the needs and benefits to be realized by improving ocean data collection and forecasting. The committee was drawn together from a wide variety of backgrounds including meteorology, oceanography, numerical modeling, satellite remote sensing, forecasting, vessel opera- tions, fisheries, and minerals extraction and from government and private sector individuals who provide today's operational forecasting capability. The committee's composition and procedures were in agreement with the guidelines of the National Research Council. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Navy provided liaison personnel to assist the committee. The Committee on Opportunities to Improve Marine Observations and Forecasting was charged to undertake an interdisciplinary assessment of the needs and expected benefits associated with improving forecasts of ocean conditions, including weather over the oceans and associated technology; · consider observations and prediction of ocean conditions including waves, currents, temperature, and ice; as well as the associated meteoro- logical winds, air temperatures, precipitation, visibility, and cloud cover; · consider effects on general vessel operations, navigation, search and rescue missions, marine ecosystem analysis, fisheries operations, port operations, coastal zone management, and other ocean management and operations, as appropriate; identify needs of users for improvement and the technical potential to meet improvement needs; identify potential or probable benefits; consider needed research and development; and · establish a dialogue among interested parties, for example oceanog- raphers, atmospheric scientists, remote sensing experts, and users of marine forecasts including those who conduct commercial ocean operations, and other applicable groups. The committee developed information by reviewing literature, com- missioning background papers by committee members and government agencies, conducting a survey of a wide range of users, and convening a national meeting with representation from both the provider and the user communities. The survey questionnaire was a key element in sampling the opinions of the user community and structuring the national meeting. It asked a number of critical questions about the use of marine forecasts, sources of XIV
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forecast information, method of receipt, reliability, and desired forecast features not now being received. Responses to the survey provided a good cross section of current operational users in the shipping, oil and gas, and fisheries and recreational industries and indicated that about 90 percent of commercial users of the ocean and coastal waters utilize marine weather forecasts. From the major topics identified by the questionnaires, background papers, and a review of the literature, the format of the national meeting was developed. Presentations were invited from representatives of key governmental agencies having a function in marine forecasting and the collection of marine observations. This was followed by presentations from key user groups such as vessel operators, fisheries, dredging, and oil and gas recovery. Presentations were also made by representatives of the value- added (private forecast) community. General presentations were followed by interactive discussion among all participants. At the conclusion of the invited papers, the participants split into five working groups to address specific issues: wind, wave, and swell; tropical and extratropical storms; ice, currents, and ocean processes; nearshore forecasting; collection, reporting, dissemination, and display. Each working group reported its preliminary findings in plenary session, followed by an open discussion. In this manner significant dialogue between all interested parties was stimulated and presented in a forum to provide input to the final committee's report. Following is a summary of the committee's findings and recommendations. FINDINGS 1. Improve management. The committee found several important program areas where needed developments will be difficult or impossible without clarifications of policy and improvements in coordination. · Who's in Charge?—All too frequently, the committee was unable to identify the person or agency clearly and singly responsible for operation of the observing and forecasting system and end user support. · Implications of Classification of Environmental Data The Navy is a major producer of environmental observations and analytical products, which form the technical basis of ~ wide range of civilian forecasts. Recent technical advances have raised the prospect that some environmental data fields and products may be classified by the Navy in the future. Planning and coordinating are essential to ensure that civilian needs continue to be met even as military requirements change. · Public and Private Roles There is a reasonable balance between government and private marine forecast sector products and activities. xv
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2. Hurricane forecasting is adequate and should not be degraded. Forecasting by the National Weather Service, and user response to such forecasts, have been successful in minimizing loss of life and property dam- age due to hurricanes in the U.S. coastal regions. User groups are aware of the uncertainties of hurricane forecasting and generally accept the burden of "false alarm" evacuation. The potential for improvement notwithstand- ing, the present forecasting of tropical storms is considered satisfactory for the fishing and shipping fleets. The committee was extremely concerned that no measures, such as the withdrawal of hurricane reconnaissance aircraft by the Air Force, be accomplished in the name of economy. At present, and for the foreseeable future, no data are available that adequately substitute for aircraft data in the measurement of central pressures, wind speed, and the precise location of the storm center. Given the present low skill in hurricane track forecasting, and the potential for vast damage and loss of life that exists from any hurricane, there is no reasonable justification for removing any source of critical data on tropical storms. 3. More synoptic data are needed. The ocean, representing some 70 percent of the global surface, is a vastly undersampled region. This is a severe handicap when initializing numerical models that provide the guidance used to generate nowcast and forecast products. Even if every ship at sea could (and would) report observations in a timely manner, many global regions would be virtually devoid of data. Improvements will depend on: (1) using every technologically available resource to- obtain synoptic observations, (2) not losing data available from high-seas operators, and (3) organizing to maximize the data collection and utilization efforts. The committee finds improvements are needed in each of the following areas: · Operational Oceanographic Satellite The nation now has no plans to field a suite of sensors tailored to measure, in an operational mode, the ocean variables deemed most critical to ocean forecasting. Ib have these fields measured simultaneously from an orbit optimized for synoptic forecasting transmitted to primary operational ocean modeling centers has the potential to revolutionize ocean forecasting. The present program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the nation's sole space oceanography effort. While commendable in execution of its chartered role to develop and demonstrate the technology for ocean measurements, it is not designed to function as an operational ocean satellite program. Such a program would have significant benefit to a number of commercial activities, the military establishment, and to the general public. · Lost Data Opportunities- The committee was most concerned to learn that the current system for the timely collection of marine observa- tions, especially from vessels at sea, is not fulfilling its potential by a wide XVI
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margin. It is estimated that 50 percent of all potential marine observations are not utilized in the numerical model runs that form the basis of forecast guidance. The reasons appear myriad, but the following could be targeted as problems warranting prompt attention: improving the number of ships that submit observations and the total number of observations from ships; improving the routine, timely delivery of vessel reports to the modeling center for the synoptic model run; and improving the overall management of the data collection effort. These and other reasons call for prompt action on the part of governmental agencies with responsibilities to collect, process, and use this data. 4. Improvements are needed in resolution in space and time, and forecast horizon. Users stated a strong desire to alter the resolution of marine forecasts either by reduction of the area covered by a specific forecast or by adding higher resolution information about weather events within a forecast area. Users also desired more frequent forecast updates, especially during dangerous periods such as storm conditions. A wide number of users would benefit from higher resolution forecasts, especially those using smaller vessels or those conducting high-risk operations in the nearshore region (0 to 50 miles). Users are often not well served by forecasts that cover general conditions over a broad region of the coastline when their operations are conducted, for example, within a Simile radius of a certain port within that coastal region. Operations with this type of impact include commercial and recreational fishing, recreational boating, ocean engineering, pollution abatement, dredging, and tourism. High-seas vessel operators are concerned with more details about atmospheric frontal systems, including their horizontal extent and speed and direction of travel. Large-vessel operators are primarily concerned with detailed conditions when making landfall or entering port. 5. Improved dissemination systems and linkage to navy marine fac- simile broadcast are needed. No matter what improvements are made in the marine observation net, and the resultant improvements in nowcasting and forecasting skill, those results will have been for naught if the system of disseminating the information to the users cannot keep pace. As the federal agencies respond to changing technology and changing budgets, they must maintain close coordination with each other and with the user community to ensure no breakdown in the dissemination system. The committee finds there is cause to examine NOAA Weather Radio, which is the primary carrier for ocean weather information to the fishing Beet and the recreational boater, in three areas: (1) extending the range of the signal to 50 miles, (2) timing the broadcast to treat specific marine areas at a designated time, and (3) changing broadcast content to include more fine-scale information on current and forecast weather. . . xv~
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While supporting NAVTEX, an international system of communica- tion, the committee is concerned (1) that there be sufficient time allowed on the broadcast to permit the full weather forecast to be presented and (2) that there be a mechanism whereby warnings of ocean weather can be immediately transmitted. It is obvious that if forecasts are both more site specific and more frequent, the potential burden for the NAVTEX system will increase. While marine facsimile and radio teletype are both current systems for communication of marine weather data, the committee is most concerned about maintaining the capability of the marine facsimile broadcast. This broadcast is the weather backbone of most seagoing vessels. If the Navy cancels their support of marine facsimile broadcasts, another federal agency must take up the role of providing marine facsimile support in compliance with U.S. obligations as a signatory to the SafeW of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. 6. The need for new systems for forecasting internal ocean weather exists. Nowcasting, as it applies to marine forecasting, is the concept of integrating satellite and conventional observations in the context of a numerical ocean model to produce the best possible description of existing conditions. Forecasting carries this concept forward to the prediction of conditions at some specified time in the future. The committee found that there exists a common national interest in and need for nowcasts and forecasts of oceanic velocity and thermal and related fields within the nearshore and adjacent deep ocean. Significant and sustainable benefits to a variety of commercial, military, and recreational oceanic activities are identifiable and are now feasible for the first time, based on exist mg ocean science and technology. Improved nowcasts and forecasts of internal ocean weather and related boundary processes are becoming practicable. The technology is feasible and recent advances in scientific understanding have made timely prediction realistic and accomplishable. 7. Better knowledge is needed of "bomb" storms and rogue waves. Leo distinct areas of marine weather, the episodic wave and explosive cyclo- genesis, present phenomena of great concern to the shipping community. The episodic (or rogue) wave presents the mariner with the unforeseen occurrence of one or trains of very large waves, much larger than expected for the sea conditions forecast. Damage or loss of cargo and potential injury or loss of personnel can result. The second is the surprise storm or explosive cyclogenesis. In this case, a storm center deepens much more rapidly than forecast, generating extreme wind and sea conditions totally unexpected by the mariner. The important operative in both events is unforecast. The physics of these phenomena are at present insufficiently xviii
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understood to provide any degree of predictability with confidence. The committee finds that additional research on both these events is required. RECOMMENDATIONS RECOMMENDATION: Improve Management Improved coordina- tion of the national ocean forecasting program is of such critical importance that a review of policy should be undertaken by the administrator of NOAA and the oceanographer of the Navy. Among the specific issues of concern to the committee are · designation of a national policy and a lead agency for an operational oceanographic satellite system; designation of a national policy and a lead agency for nowcasting and forecasting internal ocean weather, · maintenance and improvement of the services provided to the civil sector; and · maintenance of the free exchange of data and information. RECOMMENDATION: Improve Data Collection. NOAA should make a strong effort to increase the efficient voluntary reporting of timely marine observations and to increase the number of vessels providing these important data. Automation of shipboard observation systems and the use of satellite communication links are vital to increasing the quantity and quality of marine data. RECOMMENDATION: Improve Resolution. NOAA can and should increase the usefulness of its products where supported by present analyses and forecasts by increasing the resolution in space and time, extending the time horizon of forecasts, and increasing the frequency of issue. Future product improvements should emphasize increased resolution and meeting user needs. RECOMMENDATION: Improve Forecast Dissemination. NOAA should develop a national strategy for marine forecast product dissemi- nation to users. Specifically, it should define the role of NOAA weather radio for supporting the marine communist and configure the system consistent with that role; structure the national plan for implementing NAV'I~X so that it is responsive to the need for expanded marine forecasting service; · provide for a full-period national marine facsimile service equiva- lent to the existing U.S. Navy service; and · provide for such other services as necessary to support user needs. RECOMMENDATION: Operational Oceanographic Satellite System. XLY
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A national program for an operational oceanographic satellite system should be established. RECOMMENDATION: Advance the Capability for Forecasting In- ternal Ocean Weather. The nation should establish an operational capa- bility for nowcasting and forecasting oceanic velocity, temperature, and related fields to support coastal and offshore operations and management. Development of these capabilities will require the establishment of an observational network in areas of high priority. RECOMMENDATION: Research on "Bomb" Storms and Rogue Waves. The federal government should develop the capability to forecast both episodic waves and explosive cyclogenesis.