NOUS41 KWBC 231838
Technical Implementation Notice 12-23
NOAA’s National Ocean Service Headquarters Washington DC
Relayed by National Weather Service Washington DC
238 PM EDT Mon Apr 23 2012
-Family of Services
-NOAA Weather Wire Service
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Other NWS and NOS partners and Employees
From: Peter Stone
Chief, Oceanographic Division
NOS Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and
Subject: Implementation of National Ocean Service’s new
Oceanographic Forecast Modeling System for the Columbia
River and Estuary, Effective July 10, 2012
Effective July 10, 2012, beginning at 1500 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), 1000 AM EDT, the NOAA/National Ocean Service Columbia River and Estuary Operational Forecast System (CREOFS) will be implemented on NOAA’s Central Computer System (CCS) operated by NCEP Central Operations (NCO).
CREOFS will now provide users with nowcasts (analyses of near present) and forecast guidance of the three-dimensional physical conditions of the Columbia River and Estuary, including surface water levels and 3-D water currents, water temperature, and salinity out to 48 hours.
CREOFS uses the Semi-Implicit Eulerian-Lagrangian Finite Element (SELFE) model, developed at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU), as its core ocean prediction model. SELFE is an open-source, community-supported, finite-element model for river-to-ocean modeling, with an unstructured grid in the horizontal dimension, hybrid SZ coordinates in the vertical dimension (with Z layers being optional), and flexibility in representing the bathymetry and vertical structure of the water column.
The CREOFS grid consists of 74,061 nodes and 142,684 elements and includes the upper and lower Columbia River and estuary. Grid resolution ranges from 39 km on the open ocean boundary to approximately 100m near the coast, indicating the flexibility of the grid size based on bathymetry from the deep ocean to the coast. Additionally, the higher resolution along the navigational channels within bays, from approximately 100m to 10m, provides detailed current features.
CREOFS operates within the NOS Coastal Ocean Modeling Framework (COMF) and has four daily nowcast and forecast cycles at 0, 6, 12, and 18 UTC.
For the CREOFS nowcast cycle, the meteorological forcing is provided by the nested, high resolution (4 km) NCEP North American Mesoscale (NAM) weather prediction model. River discharge is estimated using near-real-time observations from U.S. Geological Survey river gauges. Oceanographic conditions of subtidal water levels, water temperature and salinity on CREOFS’ lateral open boundary on the shelf are estimated based on forecast guidance from the Navy Coast Ocean Model (NCOM) and adjusted by real-time observations at NOS water level gauges. Tides are derived from a regional tidal model of the northeast Pacific Ocean developed by Dr. Mike Foreman. Subtidal water level forecasts from NWS Extra-Tropical Storm Surge (ETSS) Model are used as a backup if NCOM is not available.
For the CREOFS forecast cycle, the meteorological forcing is provided by the nested, high resolution (4km) NAM weather prediction model. River discharge is estimated by persistence of the most recent near-real-time observations from U.S. Geological Survey river gauges. Oceanographic conditions of subtidal water levels, water temperature and salinity on CREOFS' lateral open boundary on the shelf are estimated based on forecast guidance from NCOM. Tides are derived from Dr. Mike Foreman's northeast Pacific Ocean tidal model. Subtidal water level forecasts from NWS Extra-Tropical Storm Surge (ETSS) Model are used as a backup if NCOM is not available.
Gridded and point forecast guidance from CREOFS will be available in netCDF files on the NCEP server at NOAA’s Web Operations Centers (WOC)
in the directory
at NOS/CO-OPS OPeNDAP server
and at CO-OPS THREDDS server
CREOFS output is displayed on the CO-OPS web page
Additional information about CREOFS can be found at
CREOFS predictions are used by commercial and recreational mariners and fishermen, emergency managers, search and rescue operations, and NWS marine weather forecasters. The development and implementation of CREOFS was a joint project of the NOS/Office of Coast Survey (OCS), the NOS/Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), NWS/NCEP/NCO and the Oregon Health and Science University. CREOFS is monitored 24/7 by both NCO/NCEP and CO-OPS Continuous Real-Time Monitoring System (CORMS) personnel.
Fory questions concerning these changes, please contact:
Dr. Aijun Zhang
Silver Spring, MD
Dr. Frank Aikman
Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch
Coast Survey Development Laboratory
NOAA/NOS/Office of Coast Survey
Silver Spring, MD
For questions regarding the dataflow aspects with respect to the NCEP server at the WOC, please contact:
NCEP/NCO Dataflow Team
Camp Springs, MD
For questions on how to access CREOFS digital
NOS/CO-OPS/User Services Team
Silver Spring, MD
NWS National Technical Implementation Notices are online at: