Regional Ocean Models Updated, Samoa Added

Regional Ocean Models Updated, Samoa Added

Voyager now includes a new high resolution regional ocean model for the Samoa region. This Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) mesoscale numerical ocean prediction model provides 7-day, 3-hourly forecasts at various depth levels of water temperature, currents, salinity, and sea surface height at approximately 3-km resolution. This grid extends west of Savaiʻi in Western Samoa and east of the Manuʻa Islands in American Samoa.

Model runs are produced by Dr. Brian Powell of the Department of Oceanography in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and have been added to the PacIOOS data servers. This dataset complements our existing global HYCOM ocean forecast as well as our ROMS collection in Hawaiʻi, CNMI, and Guam.

Voyager screenshot of ROMS Samoa water temperature near the ocean surface; EEZ between Western Samoa and American Samoa drawn in light blue (click here for larger image):

Voyager Screenshot

Voyager screenshot of ROMS Samoa currents near the ocean surface around the island of Tutuila in American Samoa:

Voyager Screenshot

Additionally, our existing ROMS models were updated and improved over the past couple weeks. Output is now 3-hourly as opposed to daily averages, providing finer temporal resolution. Depth levels of 0.25, 1, and 2 meters were added to help map the shallow near-surface zone. And lastly, new forecasts are now generated earlier in the day (~1:30 PM Hawaiʻi Time).

Users of our data servers will notice several changes to the underlying data structure for our ROMS datasets and will need to update any processes accordingly. Most importantly, the native, curvilinear, terrain-following ROMS datasets are now regularly gridded, making the “regridded” ROMS products that we previously provided obsolete (with the exception of the Oahu grid, which is still being finalized).

These model results were generated as part of an academic research project. They provide a scientific prediction of current and future conditions. As with any forecast, however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed and caution is advised. While considerable effort has been made to implement all data components in a thorough, correct, and accurate manner, numerous sources of error are possible.

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PacIOOS is the first regional association that was certified as a Regional Information Coordination Entity (RICE) by the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Certification provides NOAA and its interagency partners a means to verify that a regional association’s organizational and operational practices, including data management, meet recognized and established standards set by NOAA.