Salish Sea Modeling Center » Salish Sea and Columbia River Operational Forecast System (SSCOFS) » SSCOFS Forecast

SSCOFS Forecast

The SSCOFS is based on the Salish Sea Model originally developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in collaboration with the Washington State Department of Ecology, with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Khangaonkar et al. 2018). It was refined and improved following rigorous skill assessment and testing to a readiness level suitable for a NOAA Operational Forecast System (OFS) by PNNL, through an IOOS-funded Coastal Ocean Modeling Testbed project. Model skill and the ability to reproduce observed currents at over 130 current profile stations and transport processes quantified through residence and flushing times, basin-by-basin, are described in Premathilake and Khangaonkar (2022).


The Columbia River domain was added subsequently resulting in the new SSCOFS. SSCOFS has been transitioned by PNNL to the NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) for continued maintenance and operation. Real-time nowcast, and 2-day forecasts of tides, currents, salinity, and temperature at 6-minute to hourly interval are expected to become available through NOS’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products (COOPS) in 2024. Here we present daily 2-day operational forecasts generated by NOS as part of their Beta Testing in progress in the form of 2-day animations. SSCOFS resides at COOPS whose daily runs are conducted on the NOAA National Weather Service supercomputing clusters located in Silver Spring, MD 

SSCOFS_dev (local)

SSCOFS_dev represents the next version of the SSCOFS under development at PNNL and SSMC. As the developer of the Salish Sea Model, PNNL in collaboration with NOS, local sponsors, and the user community, will continuously add upgrades and refinements to the model and the data products. SSCOFS_dev. SSCOFS_dev efforts currents in progress or under consideration pending funding support include (a) further addition/refinement of lateral and vertical resolution, (b) incorporation of coastal estuaries, (c) potential upgrade to metrological inputs and further improvements to the Columbia River domain, (d) data assimilation and machine learning, and (e) development of local sub-domain forecasts for the intertidal regions of interest. 


SSCOFS-PISCES is a project funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop real-time data assimilation capabilities and procedures to improve predictions provided by oceanographic operational forecast systems. The new real-time data acquisition would be through a combination of fixed moorings and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). This is a demonstration level project using SSCOFS as one of the operational forecast systems. The objective is to characterize and improve performance over remote locations where model skill and performance has not been previously tested. The selected sites are Sequim Bay and Dabob Bay within the Salish Sea and the project is in early stages of planning, scoping, and data collection design.