Environmental Modeling Center Environmental Modeling Center Environmental Modeling Center United States Department of Commerce

Global RTOFS WBC Frontal Analyses

Satellite Cable Fronts Sea Ice


The images presented here show a comparison of observational analyses of three Western Boundary Currents, the Gulf Stream, Loop Current, and Kuroshio Current obtained from the Naval Oceanographic Office for the Gulf Stream (NAVOCEANO latest data set is available from the Ocean Prediction Center) and the the Naval Eastern Ocean Center (NAVEASTOCEANCEN) (Mesick, et al, 1998) for the Loop Current and Kuroshio Current with the appropriate frontal location computed from the Global RTOFS model, overlaid on maps of the Global RTOFS Sea Surface Temperature, Sea Surface Height, and Surface Currents.

Viewing Instructions

Select a Valid Date by clicking on the small Calendar icon or the Date Field. The pop-up calendar will only show dates for which we have US Navy frontal analysis data. There may only be a single frontal system of the three with data, so you will have to click through the tabs to find it.

The Forecast buttons will display Global RTOFS forecast data with Valid Dates that match the selected date.

Technical Details

The Global RTOFS Gulf Stream and Loop Current location is defined as the intersection of the 12°C isotherm and the 400m isobath (Halkin and Rossby, 1985).

The Global RTOFS Kuroshio Current location is defined as the intersection of the 14°C isotherm and the 200m isobath (Teague, Shiller, and Hallock, 1994).

The Hausdorff distance between two sets of points (in this case the Gulf Stream North Wall Navy analyses and the North Wall from the Global RTOFS model) is a measure of how far apart two polygon shapes or set of points are, and is computed as the greatest of all the distances from the points in one set to the closest point in the other set. The Modified Hausdorff distance is the minimum of the Hausdorff distances computed by swapping the point sets. More information on the Hausdorff distance is available here.


  • Dubuisson, M. P. and A. K. Jain (1994): A Modified Hausdorff distance for object matching. ICPR94, A, 566-568

  • Halkin, D. and T. Rossby (1985): The Structure and Transport of the Gulf Stream at 73°W. Journal of Physical Oceanography, 15, 1439-1452

  • Hausdorff, F. (1914): Grundz├╝ge der Mengenlehre, Leipzig: Veit, ISBN 978-0-8284-0061-9 Reprinted by Chelsea in 1949.

  • Mesick, S. M., M. H. Booda and B. A. Gibson, (1998): Automated detection of oceanic fronts and eddies from remotely sensed satellite data using ARC/INFO GRID processing. In: Proceedings of 1998 ESRI International User Conference, Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. Redlands CA, USA,

  • Teague, W. J., A. M. Shiller, and Z. R. Hallock (1994): Hydrographic section across the Kuroshio near 35°N, 143°E. Journal of Geophysical Research, 99,C4, 7639-7650