Lake Circulation Studies and the Great Lakes Coastal Forecast System (GLCFS)
David Schwab - NOAA GLERL
This project is designed to develop and fully implement a system of computerized models that can simulate and predict the three-dimensional structure of currents, temperatures, water level fluctuations, wind waves, ice, and sediments in the Great Lakes. The project will integrate these models with the required observational data systems into a real-time coastal prediction system. The project will make the information developed from this system available in a useful format and in a timely fashion to National Weather Service* forecasters, coastal users and resource managers.
The forecasting system will be useful to all users of the Great Lakes coastal waters who require real-time information and forecasts of temperatures, currents, water levels, and waves. Physical processes have a major impact on environmental, chemical, and biological processes and influence many other types of user activities, such as water supply management, waste water management, power plant sitings, shipping, recreational and commercial boating and fishing, shoreline erosion and redistribution of sedimentary material. Planners and managers responsible for any part of the Great Lakes ecosystem that is affected by lake circulation, such as transport of toxic material or nutrient enrichment processes will have full access to the information provided by Great Lakes Coastal Forecast System to assist them in the decision making process. The forecasts of lake waves, water levels, water temperatures, and currents are expected to provide NWS marine forecasters with a significant source of new information which should lead to considerable improvements both in the accuracy and efficiency of marine forecasts for the Great Lakes.
FY06 Figure 1 Screen shot from workstation-based Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System at the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. By operating a research-based version of GLCFS at GLERL in parallel with the operational version at National Ocean Service Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, we will be able to develop and test new applications of coastal forecast systems including ecological forecasts and beach closure forecasts.
2006 Project Objectives
The objectives of the GLCFS project are:
Considerable progress has been made toward developing an operational real-time coastal prediction system for the Great Lakes. We are continuing the process of transferring this system to NWS operations and fully implementing the system for all five lakes. Forecast systems for Lakes Erie and Michigan were implemented operationally by NOS CO-OPS in 2005. The other lakes are scheduled for implementation in 2006. Because we want to continue to develop new applications and improvements in GLCFS for eventual operational implementation, and because GLCFS is valuable for several other ongoing research projects at GLERL, we propose to continue operations at GLERL on a year-to-year basis at GLERL.
The specific work for 2006 has four components:
This project is designed to develop and fully implement a system of computerized models that can simulate and predict the three-dimensional structure of currents, temperatures, water level fluctuations, wind waves, ice, and sediments in the Great Lakes. The project will integrate these models with the required observational data systems into a real-time coastal prediction system. In 2005 the main accomplishments were to continue operation of workstation-based GLCFS at GLERL, assisting NOS CO-OPS in implementing operational systems for Lake Erie and Michigan, assisting NCEP in comparing results from their WaveWatch III model for the Great Lakes to GLCFS wave forecasts, and implementing a scheme for assimilation of ice conditions into the hydrodynamic and wave models of GLCFS. In addition, Dave Schwab continued to act as chairman of the Scientific Steering Committee for the development of the Great Lakes Observation System component of Integrated Ocean Observing System*.
The specific work for 2005 had five components:
Operational products for each of the five Great Lakes can be accessed via the web at Great Lakes Operational Forecast System*
FY05 Figure 1. Sample products from Lake Michigan Operational Forecast System (left) and Lake Erie Operational Forecast System* (right). The Lake Michigan graph shows water temperature forecasts and the Lake Erie graph shows surface current forecasts. In addition, a GLERL Quarter 4 milestone on the transfer of GLCFS to NOS was completed.
The specific work for 2004 had five main accomplishments:
FY 04 Figure 1. AWIPS graphical display of GLCFS wave forecasts.
Considerable progress was made toward developing an operational real-time coastal prediction system for the Great Lakes. We are still in the process of transferring this system to NWS operations and fully implementing the system for all five lakes. Because we have no control of when this transfer will occur, and because GLCFS is valuable for several other ongoing research projects at GLERL, we propose to continue operations at GLERL on a year-to-year basis at GLERL.
The specific work for 2003 had two main components:
We fully implemented hydrodynamic and wave model nowcasts and forecasts for all five lakes in the GLERL version of the Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System. This required the addition of hydrodynamic model runs and graphical output products for Lakes Ontario and Superior. In addition, a graphical product for surface currents was developed and implemented for all five lakes. The driving function for GLCFS forecasts is the numerical weather model predictions from NCEP’s Eta model. This year we changed the way we acquire the NCEP forecasts from internet-based to NOAAPORT (satellite-based) to ensure more reliable and timely operation. This has decreased the time delay between completion of the Eta model forecasts and GLCFS forecasts to less than an hour. We also have worked with NWS to provide wave model forecast data in a format (GRIB) which is compatible with NWS AWIPS workstation software so that wave forecasts can be displayed seamlessly with all other weather information at NWS offices. The GRIB files are disseminated through the NWS telecommunications gateway and NOAAPORT to all NWS offices.
Meetings and discussions were held with NWS and NOS concerning transfer of GLCFS operations to NCEP or NOS/COOPS. When a decision is reached, GLERL will provide any required assistance in the transfer.
We continued development of the hydrodynamic modeling component of a nowcast/forecast system for Lake St. Clair in collaboration with G. Meadows at U.M. This work is in support of a large project on Lake St. Clair water quality which has been proposed for funding through an MDEQ Great Lakes Coastal Restoration Grant. A decision on funding is still pending.
The specific work for 2001 had five main components:
We are now in the process of transferring this system to NWS operations and fully implementing the system for all five lakes. Because we have no control of when this transfer will occur, and because GLCFS is valuable for several other ongoing research projects at GLERL, we propose to continue operations at GLERL on a year-to-year basis at GLERL. Improved data acquisition software for NOAAPORT*.
Nowcasts of three-dimensional circulation and water temperature are being produced for Lakes Erie, Ontario, and Michigan as well as wave forecasts and nowcasts for all five lakes. We are now in the process of transferring this system to the NWS operations. A workstation- based version of GLFS has been developed at GLERL as a prototype for implementation in NWS forecast offices. Input data for nowcasts is obtained from the NOAAPORT satellite-based acquisition system for real-time meteorological data (Figure1.). Forecasts of waves, water levels, currents, and water temperatures are based on meteorological forecasts from the Eta-32 model at NCEP. Nowcasts are updated four times per day and forecasts are updated twice daily. Products consist of maps and animations of two and three dimensional wave, water level, current, and water temperature fields. Validation against observed wave conditions, water temperatures, and water level fluctuations has been encouraging. The nowcasts part of the system, which is based entirely on observed meteorological data, relies on objective analysis to provide ridded meteorology for the hydrodynamic models. A new geometrically-based method of objective analysis called the Natural Neighbor technique will soon be implemented into the nowcast system. This technique produces interpolated fields with more realistic spatial structure than other techniques we have used, particularly for observation networks with highly irregular spacing.
FY 99 Figure 1. This shows the new satellite dish for collecting the NOAAPORT data stream and the team that is assembling the system to make the data usable for the researchers at GLERL.
In 1998, the National Weather Service (NWS) continued reviewing plans for the future of the Great Lakes Marine Program at the Weather Service Forecast Office (WSFO) in Cleveland, Ohio. Depending on the outcome of these plans, Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System (GLCFS) could be transferred to WSFO Cleveland for operational implementation. Alternatively, parts of the system could be transferred to individual WSFOs for operation on individual lakes, and the whole system could be transferred to the NCEP Marine Prediction Center in Washington, DC or it could remain as a demonstration project operated at GLERL. In 1998, we also investigated the possibility of transferring the system to the National Ocean Service (NOS) Oceanographic Products and Services Division, which operates the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) for San Francisco Bay, New York/New Jersey Harbor, Houston/ Galveston, Tampa Bay, and Chesapeake Bay. To be in a position to provide an operating GLCFS to any of these agencies, it is necessary for GLERL to continue operation of GLCFS in demonstration mode. This operation complements the public GLFS operated by Ohio State University (OSU) as many of the changes and improvements made at GLERL are incorporated into the OSU system.
In the past year at GLERL, GLCFS has undergone Y2K certification, which involved modifying program code, control scripts, and file naming conventions to accommodate a four digit year. In addition, in June of 1998, NCEP implemented a new version of the ETA mesoscale weather forecast model, which required several changes in the data acquisition procedures and data processing procedures for GLCFS forecasts.
As-Salek, J. A., and D.J. Schwab. 2004. High frequency water level fluctuations in Lake Michigan. Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering:45-53.
Beletsky, D., K.K. Lee and D.J. Schwab, 1998. Large-scale circulation. In: D.Lam (Ed.) Climatic effects on lake hydrodynamics and water quality, ASCE, 4.1-4.42.
Beletsky, D., J.H. Saylor, and D.J. Schwab. 1999. Mean circulation in the Great Lakes. J. Great Lakes Res. 25, 78-93.
Beletsky, D. and D.J. Schwab. 2001. Modeling circulation and thermal structure in Lake Michigan: Annual cycle and interannual variability. J. Geophys. Res 106:19745-19771.
Hook, T. O., E. S. Rutherford, S. J. Brines, D. M. Mason, D. J. Schwab, M. J. McCormick, G. W. Fleischer and T. J. DeSorcie. 2003. Spatially explicit measures of production of young alewives in Lake Michigan: linkage between essential fish habitat and recruitment. Estuaries 26(1):21-29.
Kelley, J.G.W., J.S. Hobgood, K.W. Bedford and D.J. Schwab, 1998. Generation of Three-dimensional lake model forecasts for Lake Erie. Weather and Forecasting, 13, 659- 687.
Lee, C.-H., D. J. Schwab, and N. HAWLEY. Sensitivity analysis of sediment resuspension parameters in coastal area of southern Lake Michigan. Journal of Geophysical Research 110(C03004):16 (2005).
LIU, P.C., Schwab, D.J., and Jensen, R.E. 2002. Has wind-wave modeling reached its limit? Ocean Engineering 29:81-98.
O’Connor, W.P., D.J. Schwab, and G.A. LANG, 1999. Forecast verification for Eta Model winds using Lake Erie storm surge water levels. Weather and Forecasting, 14, 119-133.
Schwab, D.J. and D. Beletsky, 1998. Propagation of Kelvin Waves Along Irregular Coastlines in Finite-difference Models. Advances in Water Resources, 22, 239-245.
Schwab, D.J. and K.W. Bedford, 1999. The Great Lakes Forecasting System, in Coastal Ocean Prediction (ed. C.Mooers), Amer. Geophys. Union Coastal and Estuarine Studies. 157-174.Amer. Geophys. Union Coastal and Estuarine Studies. 157-174.
Schwab, D.J., Leshkevich, G.A., and Muhr, G.C. 1999. Automated mapping of surface water temperature in the Great Lakes. J. Great Lakes Res., 25(3), 468-481.
Schwab, D. J., and D. Beletsky. 2003. Relative effects of wind stress curl, topograph, and stratification on large scale circulation in Lake Michigan. Journal of Geophysical Research 108(C2):26-1 to 26-6.
*Link leads off GLERL’s website