Multi-model ensemble forecasting and glider path planning in the Mid-Atlantic Bight

TitleMulti-model ensemble forecasting and glider path planning in the Mid-Atlantic Bight
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWang, XC, Chao, Y, Thompson, DR, Chien, SA, Farrara, J, Li, P, Vu, Q, Zhang, HC, Levin, JC, Gangopadhyay, A
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Type of ArticleJournal Article
KeywordsEnsemble forecasting Objective weighting method, Equal weighting method, Glider path planning, Mid-Atlantic Bight

During the first two weeks of November 2009, a field experiment was conducted in the Mid-Atlantic Bight region to demonstrate a coastal ocean observatory that can collect observations from heterogeneous platforms and forecast fields from four different ocean models, provide multi-model ensemble forecasts based on either an equal weighting (EQ) or objective weighting (OBJ) method, and use model forecasts in a path planning system to relocate autonomous gliders. This experiment is a prototype for the command and control component of cyberinfrastructure of the Ocean Observatories Initiative funded by the National Science Foundation. The four individual models use different forcing fields, boundary conditions and data assimilation techniques, and have resolutions varying from 2 km to 15 km. Our results indicate that for sea surface temperature and surface currents, the OBJ ensemble outperforms the four individual models, while the EQ ensemble can also provide an effective way to improve individual model forecasts. In terms of glider path planning, the OBJ ensemble has a performance similar to the best individual model, which has the finest horizontal resolution. This field experiment demonstrates the first-ever use of ensemble current forecasts to guide glider path planning in the context of real-time data collection and ocean model forecasting.


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