The Operational Extratropical Surge and Tide Forecasting System (ESTOFS) is now global

On November 24, the NWS updated the global ESTOFS to provide NWS forecasters with high-resolution water level forecast guidance, including storm tides (storm surge plus tides) for the entire world . The ESTOFS global forecast will be used by forecasters from the Weather Forecasting Offices (WFOs) and the Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) to generate their storm surge forecasts during winter storms, including those in the Northeast. is along the eastern seaboard of the United States.

An example of forecast maximum water levels (m MSL) from a Global ESTOFS forecast cycle

With this upgrade, the model has global reach for the first time, replacing a previous version with three operational areas in the Atlantic, Pacific and Micronesia regions. Global ESTOFS also now offers improved spatial resolution in US waters and improved physics. The model has four forecast cycles per day, providing water level forecast guidance for up to 180 hours.

“Congratulations to the team for this successful implementation of the Extratropical Wave/Tide Operational Prediction System. I look forward to seeing this tool in action during the major winter storms that pose many challenges along America’s coasts,” said Louis Uccellini, Ph.D., director of the National Weather Service.

ESTOFS is one of the oldest operational coastal storm surge forecasting systems, in place since 2012. The system was developed by the Coastal Marine Modeling Branch of the National Ocean Service Office of Coastal Survey ( NOS) and was implemented in collaboration with the National Ocean Service. Meteorological Service and University of Notre Dame. The new capabilities of Global ESTOFS have been implemented through collaborative research and development projects supported by the NOAA Water Initiative, COASTAL Act, and NOS Office of Coast Survey research opportunities.

“We are very proud of the development and operational implementation of the global version of this forecasting system,” said Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “This new system will be integral to supporting the safety of maritime navigation and protecting life and property by improving coastal resilience. Excellent work by the Office of Coast Survey team in developing this system in conjunction with the National Weather Service and the University of Notre Dame.

The availability of digital indications from the operational global ESTOFS improves the ability of National Environmental Prediction Centers (primarily the OPC) to provide operational indications of extratropical coastal storm surges in Marine Weather (MWD) discussions.

Global ESTOFS will also provide water level forecast advice to the shipping community as part of the NOS Precision Marine Navigation program. Finally, the Global ESTOFS storm surge output is used as input for the NWS Coastal Wave Forecast System (NWPS), which provides high-resolution, on-demand coastal wave pattern forecast guidance to US coastal WFOs. .

Additional details are available via the Service Change Notice posted on October 23, 2020.

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