The Global RTOFS ocean model is based on an eddy resolving 1/12° global
HYCOM (HYbrid Coordinates Ocean Model) (Chassignet et al., 2009) and is part
of a larger national backbone capability of ocean modeling at NWS in a
strong partnership with US Navy. The Global RTOFS ocean model became
operational 25 October 2011.
A Brief Description
A poster on the Global RTOFS ocean model presented at the
GODAE OceanView - GSOP - CLIVAR Workshop on
Observing System Evaluation and Intercomparisons,
Univ. of California Santa Cruz, CA, USA,
13-17 June 2011, is
Based on the successful design of the existing operational Atlantic
RTOFS model (Mehra and Rivin, 2010), the global ocean forecast system
runs once a day and produces 2 days of nowcasts and up to 8 days of
forecasts using the daily initialization fields produced at NAVOCEANO
using NCODA, a 3D multi-variate data assimilation methodology
(Cummings, 2005). The data types assimilated include in situ profiles
of temperature and salinity from a variety of sources and remotely
sensed SST, SSH and sea-ice concentrations. The operational ocean
model configuration has 32 hybrid layers and a horizontal grid size of
(4500 x 3298) . The grid has an Arctic bi-polar patch north of
47°N and a Mercator projection south of 47°N through
78.6°S (Figure 1 below). The coastline is fixed at 10 m isobath
with open Bering Straits. The potential temperature is referenced to
2000 m depth (sigma-2) and the first level is fixed at 1 m depth. The
dynamic ocean model is coupled to a thermodynamic energy loan ice
model and uses the KPP mixed layer formulation (Large et al., 1994).
The forecast system is forced with 3-hourly momentum, radiation and
precipitation fluxes from the operational Global Forecast System (GFS)
Results include daily volume and 3 hourly surface fields in netCDF format
with CF conventions. Some surface fields in GRIB format are also generated
for internal use at NWS.
Figure 1: Grid for the global ocean forecast system with each cell
representing 54th row and 75th column of the grid.
Figure 2: Salinity in the Global RTOFS model along the meridional P-14 WOCE section.
analysis and initialization of this system at NCEP using a 3DVAR data
assimilation will be developed in time for the next machine (hardware)
upgrade expected in 2014. Long term plans also include providing initial and
boundary conditions to existing operational regional and coupled hurricane
forecast systems at NCEP. A coarser version will also serve as the ocean
component of a future climate forecast system.
Bleck, R., 2002: An oceanic general circulation model framed in hybrid
isopycnic-cartesian coordinates. Ocean Modeling, 4, 55-88.
Chassignet, E.P., H.E. Hurlburt, E.J. Metzger, O.M. Smedstad, J. Cummings,
G.R. Halliwell, R. Bleck, R. Baraille, A.J. Wallcraft, C. Lozano, H.L.
Tolman, A. Srinivasan, S. Hankin, P. Cornillon, R. Weisberg, A. Barth, R.
He, F. Werner, and J. Wilkin, 2009. U.S. GODAE: Global Ocean Prediction with
the HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). Oceanography, 22(2), 64-75.
Cummings, J.A., 2005: Operational multivariate ocean data assimilation.
Quart. J. Royal Met. Soc., Part C, 131(613), 3583-3604.
Large, W.C., J.C. McWilliams, and S.C. Doney, 1994: Oceanic vertical mixing:
a review and a model with a nonlocal boundary layer paramterization. Rev.
Geophys., 32, 363-403.
- Mehra, A. and I. Rivin, 2010: A Real Time Ocean Forecast System for
the North Atlantic Ocean. Terr. Atmos. Ocean. Sci., Vol. 21, No. 1,