Operational Ocean Forecasting - NCOF - The National Centre for Ocean Forecasting


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Operational Ocean ForecastingNorth Atlantic FOAM Model

We use a global network of satellite and ocean based measuring systems, together with a suite of computer models, to monitor and forecast the world's oceans. Our models and observations carry on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The models assimilate ocean measurements and use them to produce estimates of the full depth ocean state for the whole global ocean. Then, forced by the Met Office numerical weather prediction systems, the models forecast waves, tides and surges, ocean currents, temperature, salinity and biology.

The suite of models run by NCOF comprises:

  • Coastal-seas models, forecast ocean currents driven by the complex combination of winds, tides, and contrasts in ocean density, as well as temperature, salinity and other parameters. The coastal seas models cover the whole European continental shelf including the waters around the UK and Ireland.
  • Deep ocean models forecast physical ocean parameters (currents, temperature, salinity) for the whole global ocean, with several models providing better spatial resolution in key areas.
  • Ecosystem models provide forecasts and analysis of the ecosystems in coastal seas and the deep oceans.
  • Wave models, to forecast wave conditions globally and around the UK, protecting seafarers and coastal communities.
  • UK storm surge models, developed and run on behalf of the Environment Agency, which forecast when the combination of atmospheric pressure, wind and tides cause dangerous high water levels around the UK, giving advance warning of coastal flooding.

Here is a short presentation summarising the above capabilities.

For further information or to give some feedback on these pages, please use the NCOF site Enquiry Form.


(Last Updated: 17-11-2011)