The Meteorological Buoy and Coastal Marine Automated Network for the United States

LANCE F. BOSART, Principal Investigator

WILLIAM A. SPRIGG, Study Director

Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate

Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1998



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--> The Meteorological Buoy and Coastal Marine Automated Network for the United States LANCE F. BOSART, Principal Investigator WILLIAM A. SPRIGG, Study Director Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1998

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--> NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members 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 committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences 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. Bruce M. Alberts 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. The 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. William A. Wulf 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. Kenneth I. Shine 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. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This study was supported by Contract no.50-DKNA-6-90040 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 98-85592 International Standard Book Number 0-309-06088-5 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 1998 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

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--> THE METEOROLOGICAL BUOY AND COASTAL MARINE AUTOMATED NETWORK FOR THE UNITED STATES Principal Investigator LANCE F. BOSART, State University of New York, Albany Study Director WILLIAM A. SPRIGG Research Assistant TENECIA A. BROWN

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--> BOARD ON ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES AND CLIMATE ERIC J. BARRON (Co-Chair), Pennsylvania State University, University Park JAMES R. MAHONEY (Co-Chair), International Technology Corporation, Washington, D.C. SUSAN K. AVERY, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder LANCE F. BOSART, State University of New York, Albany MARVIN A. GELLER, State University of New York, Stony Brook DONALD M. HUNTEN, University of Arizona, Tucson JOHN IMBRIE, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island CHARLES E. KOLB, Aerodyne Research, Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts THOMAS J. LENNON, Sonalysts, Inc., Alexandria, Virginia MARK R. SCHOEBERL, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland JOANNE SIMPSON, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland NIEN DAK SZE, Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts Staff ELBET W. (JOE) FRIDAY, JR., Executive Director GREGORY H. SYMMES,* Acting Director WILLIAM A. SPRIGG, Director H. FRANK EDEN, Senior Program Officer LOWELL SMITH,* Senior Program Officer DAVID H. SLADE, Senior Program Officer LAURIE S. GELLER, Staff Officer PETER SCHULTZ, Staff Officer ELLEN F. RICE, Reports Officer DORIS BOUADJEMI,* Administrative Assistant KELLY NORSINGLE, Senior Project Assistant TENECIA A. BROWN, Senior Program Assistant DIANE F. GUSTAFSON, Administrative Assistant ANDREW E. EVANS,* Program Summer Intern *   Denotes past staff members who were active during the preparation of this report.

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--> COMMISSION ON GEOSCIENCES, ENVIRONMENT, AND RESOURCES GEORGE M. HORNBERGER (Chair), University of Virginia, Charlottesville PATRICK R. ATKINS, Aluminum Company of America, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania JERRY F. FRANKLIN, University of Washington, Seattle B. JOHN GARRICK, PLG, Inc., Newport Beach, California THOMAS E. GRAEDEL, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut DEBRA KNOPMAN, Progressive Foundation, Washington, D.C. KAI N. LEE, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts JUDITH E. MCDOWELL, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts RICHARD A. MESERVE, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. HUGH C. MORRIS, Canadian Global Change Program, Delta, British Columbia RAYMOND A. PRICE, Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario H. RONALD PULLIAM, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia THOMAS C. SCHELLING, University of Maryland, College Park VICTORIA J. TSCHINKEL, Landers and Parsons, Tallahassee, Florida E-AN ZEN, University of Maryland, College Park MARY LOU ZOBACK, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California Staff ROBERT M. HAMILTON, Executive Director GREGORY H. SYMMES, Assistant Executive Director JEANETTE A. SPOON, Administrative & Financial Officer SANDI S. FITZPATRICK, Administrative Associate MARQUITA S. SMITH, Administrative Assistant/Technology Analyst

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--> Preface In late April 1997, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) asked the National Research Council's (NRC's) Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (BASC) to examine its meteorological data buoy program and the Coastal Marine Automated Network (C-MAN) for, primarily, their value in analyzing current weather conditions and in providing weather forecasts and warnings. As 1997 began, 33 of the 118 buoy/C-MAN stations managed by NOAA no longer had the funds required to remain in operation. NOAA asked the NRC to recommend a distribution of observing platforms that would maintain essential weather and forecast capabilities. Professor Lance F. Bosart, from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, State University of New York at Albany, and a member of BASC, is the principal investigator and author of this report. Dr. Bosart was assisted quite serendipitously by the scheduling of four meetings during the course of the study: the American Meteorological Society Colloquium on Coastal Environmental Information Services, May 29, 1997; the 1997 Gordon Research Conference on Coastal Ocean Circulation held June 15–17, 1997, at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire; the U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP) Scientific Coordinating Committee workshop held in Washington, D.C. in September 1997; and the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges Action Committee discussion with the NOAA Undersecretary on Oceans and Atmosphere in Washington, D.C. on May 13, 1997. Discussions at these meetings provided opportunities to assess applications of the meteorological buoy/C-MAN system with representatives of commercial shipping, the insurance industry, the United States Navy and Coast Guard, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and academic research groups. Many of the people who participated in these gatherings provided invaluable information for this study. The BASC staff met several times with NOAA headquarters and National Weather Service personnel to assemble information. On November

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--> 5 and 6, 1997, a public workshop was held with the principal investigator and NRC staff. The workshop provided an opportunity for interested parties to submit comments or information relevant to the study and an opportunity for open discussion of issues. Many comments were received from coast to coast, and from various interests including scientists, private industry, fishermen, weather forecasters, and news reporters. It is hoped that this report will prove useful not only to NOAA, but also to other federal and state agencies with responsibilities in the coastal zone, as well as to those whose livelihoods depend on the safe and sustainable use of our coasts. The counsel and written contributions on marine and coastal observations and forecasting of Professor Leonard J. Pietrafesa of North Carolina State University have proven to be invaluable for this study. The NOAA Offices of the Chief Scientist and the National Weather Service's Data Buoy Center, Office of Meteorology, and National Centers for Environmental Prediction were very helpful in providing essential data and information. Others deserving special thanks for their contribution are Robert A. Adriance, Jr. from BOAT/U.S., Dr. Peter G. Black from NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Marine Laboratories Hurricane Research Division, Dr. Wendell A. Nuss from the Naval Postgraduate School, Dr. Franklin B. Schwing from NOAA Pacific Fisheries Environmental Groups, Dr. P. Ted Strub from Oregon State University, and Dr. Floyd Hauth of the NRC's Committee on the National Weather Service Modernization. There were many more who responded to our call for information and ideas, and many more who, upon hearing that this study was being conducted, wrote of their concerns and provided further useful information. A list of individuals who contributed by mail, telephone, fax, and e-mail is provided in Appendix A. Tenecia A. Brown, the study's research assistant and point of contact for many contributors, and Celeste A. Iovinella, the study's point of contact in Albany, New York, also are acknowledged for adeptly managing a flood of information while assembling data and preparing manuscripts. This report has been reviewed by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRCs Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the authors and the NRC in making the published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The content of the review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their participation in the review of this report:

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--> Eric J. Barron, Pennsylvania State University Robert C. Beardsley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Carl A. Friehe, University of California-Irvine James R. Holton, University of Washington George M. Hornberger, University of Virginia Christopher N. K. Mooers, University of Miami Wendell A. Nuss, Naval Postgraduate School James J. O'Brien, Florida State University John M. Wallace, University of Washington James A. Westphal, California Institute of Technology Robert M. White, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research While the individuals listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, responsibility for the final content of this report rests solely with the authors and the NRC. WILLIAM A. SPRIGG STUDY DIRECTOR

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--> Contents     Preface   vii     Executive Summary   1 1   Introduction   6     The Network Infrastructure,   9 2   Noaa's Present and Proposed Coastal Ocean Buoy and C-Man Network   13     Present Coastal Ocean Buoy and C-MAN Network,   13     NOAA Proposal for an Improved MAROB Network,   16     MAROB Objectives,   21 3   Applications of Buoy/C-Man Data Network   25     Marine Forecast Problems,   25     Improving Weather Forecast Models,   27     Coastal Impacts of Severe Winter Storms and Hurricanes,   33     Coastal Weather Observations, Forecasts, and Warnings,   34     Volunteer Observing Ships,   35     Space-Based Satellite Platforms,   36 4   Importance of Buoy/C-Man Observations to Research and Operational Services   40     Coastal Issues and Applications,   42     Research Related to Tropical Weather Applications,   48     Coastal Oceanographic Research and Coastal Weather,   51 5   Proposed Core Network and Recommendations   56     Proposed Core Buoy/C-MAN Network,   57     Review of Complementary Observing Systems,   61     A Proposed Buoy/C-MAN Deployment Strategy,   62

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--> 6   Concluding Perspective   64     References   67     Appendixes         A List of Contributors   79     B Letter from the Climate Research Committee to the Department of State   81     C Letter from the U.S. Coast Guard   84     D Letter from BOAT/U.S.   85     E Findings from NOAA Natural Disaster Survey Reports   86     F Sample Weekly Status Report, National Data Buoy Center   91     G Data Buoy Impacts on Warning and Forecast Operations   94