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Users should expect delays accessing the most recent surface weather observations.

Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services Operational Forecast System (CO-OPS OFS)

For decades, mariners in the United States have depended on NOAA's Tide Tables for the best estimate of expected water levels. These tables provide accurate predictions of the astronomical tide (i.e., the change in water level due to the gravitational effects of the moon and sun and the rotation of the Earth); however, they cannot predict water-level changes due to wind, atmospheric pressure, and river flow, which are often significant.

The National Ocean Service (NOS) has the mission and mandate to provide guidance and information to support navigation and coastal needs. To support this mission, NOS has been developing and implementing hydrodynamic model-based Operational Forecast Systems. The long-term archives of model output files, which are a few days delayed, can be accessed from this page, which is part of the NCEI OceanNOMADS project. The table below provides access. The most recent (real time) output files can be found on the CO-OPS THREDDS Server Catalog, or on the CO-OPS OFS information page.

DBOFS Water Temperature Map
DBOFS Water Temperature Map

This forecast guidance provides oceanographic information that helps mariners safely navigate their local waters. This national network of hydrodynamic models provides users with operational nowcast and forecast guidance (out to 48 hours) on parameters such as water levels, water temperature, salinity, and currents. These forecast systems run for critical ports, harbors, estuaries, Great Lakes and coastal waters of the United States; they form a national backbone of real-time data, tidal predictions, data management and operational modeling.

Nowcasts and forecasts are scientific predictions about the present and future states of water levels (and possibly currents and other relevant oceanographic variables, such as salinity and temperature) in a coastal area. These predictions rely on either observed data or forecasts from a numerical model. A nowcast incorporates recent (and often near real-time) observed meteorological, oceanographic, and/or river flow rate data. A nowcast covers the period from the recent past (e.g., the past few days) to the present, and it can make predictions for locations where observational data are not available. A forecast incorporates meteorological, oceanographic, and/or river flow rate forecasts and makes predictions for times where observational data will not be available. The results of nowcasts usually initiate the forecasts.

DBOFS Current Map
DBOFS Current Map

OFS runs on NOAA's High Performance Computing Systems (HPCS) in a standard Coastal Ocean Modeling Framework (COMF) developed by The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS). COMF is a set of standards and tools for developing and maintaining NOS’s hydrodynamic model–based operational forecast systems. The goal of COMF is to provide a standard and comprehensive software infrastructure to enhance ease of use, performance, portability, and interoperability of NOS’s operational forecast systems.

Models have station data which has values at specific points, and field data which has values covering an area. The field data can be on a curvilinear grid or an unstructured triangular mesh. The curvilinear grid arranges pixels as a 2-d grid, but the rows and columns of these grids can follow curved lines. The triangular mesh grid has values at numerous points placed to adapt to the terrain and bathymetry. These points connect to adjacent points to form an irregular network of triangles. The 'Grid Type' column in the table of data sets describes the type of grid used for the files with field data. It will be 'curvilinear' for curvilinear grids and 'unstructured' for unstructured triangular grids.

 

Product Fields Grid Type POR Model Cycle Output Time Step Access
Chesapeake Bay OFS (CBOFS) curvilinear 2015-12-31 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Columbia River Estuary OFS (CREOFS)

unstructured

2014-01-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Delaware Bay OFS (DBOFS) curvilinear 2014-01-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Lake Erie OFS (LEOFS) unstructured 2017-07-06 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Lake Huron OFS (LHOFS) curvilinear 2016-03-06 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Lake Michigan OFS (LMOFS) curvilinear 2016-03-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Lake Ontario OFS (LOOFS) curvilinear 2016-03-01 to Present  6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS 
Lake Superior OFS (LSOFS) curvilinear 2016-03-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Northeast Gulf of Mexico OFS (NEGOFS) unstructured 2016-03-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Northern Gulf of Mexico OFS (NGOFS) unstructured 2016-03-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Northwest Gulf of Mexico OFS (NWGOFS) unstructured 2016-03-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Port of New York and New Jersey OFS (NYOFS) curvilinear 2014-01-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
San Francisco Bay OFS (SFBOFS) unstructured 2014-01-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
St. Johns River OFS (SJROFS) curvilinear 2014-01-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS
Tampa Bay OFS (TBOFS) curvilinear 2014-01-01 to Present 6 hours 1 hour TDS HTTPS