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Integration of a relocatable ocean model in the Mediterranean Forecasting System

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Abstract:

The MFS (Mediterranean Forecasting System) project and its follower MFSTEP (Mediterranean ocean Forecasting System–Towards Environmental Prediction) are being covering the Mediterranean Sea with operational Ocean General Circulation Models (OGCMs) at horizontal resolution varying from about 12 km till 2005 to 6.5 km in 2006 (reaching 3 km with some regional models and 1.5 km for few shelf models). Heat, water and momentum fluxes through the air-sea interface are derived from the European Center for Medium-range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) output at 0.5° horizontal resolution. Such horizontal resolutions could be not able to provide the needed forecast accuracy in some cases (localized emergencies at sea, e.g. oil spill; need for high resolution current forecasts, e.g. offshore works). A solution to this problem is represented by relocatable models able to be rapidly deployed and to produce forecasts starting from the MFS products. The Harvard Ocean Prediction System (HOPS) has been chosen as base of the relocatable model and it has been interfaced with the MFSTEP OGCM and one regional model. The relocatable model has demonstrated capability to produce forecasts within 2-3 days in many cases, and more rapid implementation may be obtained.

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