Technologies Transferred

GLERL has delivered a number of products to the Great Lakes community.

The Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System

The Great Lakes Coastal Forecasting System developed at GLERL was transferred to NOS for routine operation by the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services. This system provides hourly updates of real-time conditions (winds, currents, water levels, water temperatures) as well as 96-hour forecasts (updated four times per day) for all five Great Lakes. Principal users are commercial navigation, power generation, municipal drinking water treatment plants, USCG research and rescue, NOAA HAZMAT, and the recreational community.

High Resolution Nested Grid Circulation Modeling

The technology for high resolution nested grid circulation modeling developed at GLERL was transferred to several universities (Michigan State, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, SUNY Buffalo, Georgia Tech). This technology allows for detailed nowcasting and forecasting of river plume dispersion in the nearshore area around specific tributaries. The main application of this technology is for beach quality forecasting, but it has also been used for locating drinking water intake sites and sewage treatment plants.

Great Lakes Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System (AHPS)

Great Lakes Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System (AHPS) is an integrated system of models that translates meteorology and initial hydrologic conditions (inputs) into probabilistic forecasts of numerous hydrological variables, many of which are of particular importance to commercial and public interests, including net water supply and lake levels. The software is also used by United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to generate forecasts for the USACE official Water Levels Bulletin (published monthly), by Environment Canada to support forecasts which, along with forecasts from USACE (Detroit), support publication of the monthly Water Levels Bulletin, by New York Power Authority (NYPA) to support forecasts of Niagara River flow and associated long-term operational decisions with regard to hydropower availability versus required supplemental energy sources (e.g. coal-fired power generation), and by Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to evaluate AHPS for use in a manner similar to NYPA. They are currently running AHPS asa an advisory tool.

Derivative Outlook Weights

Derivative Outlook Weights is software originally developed as a companion tool for the AHPS, and includes an algorithm for combining multiple climatic outlooks into a single integrated weighting scheme for producing a probabilistic outlook. The software package is available for download from GLERL’s web site as an independent application. The following summary of voluntary user data (based on voluntary data collected since the year 2000) provides an indication of the distribution of users of the Derivative Outlooks Weights software among the government, private, and public sectors:

Large Basin Runoff Model (LBRM)

Large Basin Runoff Model (LBRM) was developed in the early 1980s and is used as part of the AHPS. Like the Derivative Outlooks Weights software, it has been packaged and distributed as an independent application available for download from our web site. Sine 2000, GLERL has documented roughly 340 downloads of the LBRM software package.

Large Lake Thermodynamics Model (LLTM)

Large Lake Thermodynamics Model (LLTM) is another component of the APHS that was developed by GLERL in the late 1980s. It is a thermodynamics model that uses input meteorology to model thermodynamic processes in each of the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair, including such variables as water surface temperature, ice amount and lake evaporation.

Mid-Lakes Routing Model

Mid-Lakes Routing Model was developed at GLERL in the early 1980s to describe the flow of water through the connecting channels of the Great Lakes system from Lake Huron to Lake Ontario. This software was then supplied to the Coordinating Committee of the International Joint Commission for inclusion into the official Coordinated Great Lakes Routing and Regulation Model that is used throughout the Great Lakes community.

Thiessen Polygon

Thiessen Polygon software was developed by Dr. Tom Croley in the 1980s to compute thiessen polygons from a dynamic network of geographically referenced stations. Prior to the development of this software, standard practice was to compute a static set of polygons (and associated weights) from a typical network, then attempt to adjust those weights as the network changed. This introduced errors that were eliminated by re-computing the network and weights with the new software. This software is used in AHPS and is also used extensively for computing aerial estimates of meteorological variables, including the official IJC-sanctioned estimates of precipitation for the Great Lakes basin.

Climate Change Simulation Package

Climate Change Simulation Package is a simulation package for climate change studies that is a subset of AHPS. It utilizes the same models as AHPS (LBRM, LLTM) to produce simulations of potential hydrology from scenarios of potential meteorology.

Great Lakes Hydrometeorological Station Directory Database

Great Lakes Hydrometeorological Station Directory Database is a printed report with accompanying computer media. It later was updated, in collaboration with the Great Lakes Commission and USACE-Detroit, to a dynamic web-based product. It is currently hosted on the Great Lakes Information Network and maintained by the Great Lakes Commission.

Real-Time Meteorological Observation Network

Real-Time Meteorological Observation Network was transferred to Great Lakes NWS offices for use on Coast Guard navigation structures and on piers resulting in numerous additional observations for supporting operational marine forecasting.