NWS Melbourne Marine Web Letter
(For Marine Forecast Questions 24/7: call 321-255-0212 ext. 242)
It has been a long time since I have communicated via a web letter. That’s probably good news, since it means that there haven’t been a lot of big changes occurring.
I am sure it was noticed that buoy 41009 data was not available for a few months during the summer. Luckily it was returned to service! We hope that this buoy, and buoy 41010, will be assets to east central Florida mariners for many years to come. However, funding of these buoys is no longer a certainty from year to year. Boaters can help by not tying up to the buoy, not snagging fishing line on the buoy, etc. (i.e. leave maintenance costs to normal wear and tear, and the weather)
Gulf Stream Position
Forecasters have been using the RTOFS (Real Time Ocean Forecast System) to determine the position of the west wall of the Gulf Stream for the past year. However, due to problems with the model, we had to revert to satellite imagery to estimate the position. During the summer months, a weak temperature gradient usually exists between the Gulf Stream and the Continental Shelf waters. So to compensate for this, we generally nudged the satellite estimated position closer to average values.
We continue to use the SWAN model for our daily wave forecasting. Work is being done to develop a Nearshore Wave Prediction System (NWPS). This will allow a choice of running the SWAN or a shallow water version of the NOAA Wave Watch model. Additionally, the RTOFS data is planned to be incorporated back into NWPS, which will allow us to better estimate the Gulf Stream west wall position again, hopefully sometime next year.
If you are interested in having me give a talk about marine forecasting, the best way to contact me is via email.