Earlier this month, NOS’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS)—NOAA’s tides and currents experts—rolled out three new observational systems on the East and West coasts of the United States.
Two new Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®) locations are now online in California and Connecticut. PORTS give mariners up-to-the-minute information on tides, currents, water and air temperature, barometric pressure, and wind so that they can safely move their vessels through more than 50 U.S. seaports and waterways.
During the first week of October, two new Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®) locations went online in California and Connecticut. The first PORTS, located in Humboldt Bay, Calif., was established through NOAA's partnership with the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District. The second location in New London, Conn., was established through a NOAA partnership with the Port Operations Commander, U.S. Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.
Tailored to the specific requirements of each seaport, PORTS is a decision support tool that improves the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce and coastal resource management through the integration of real-time environmental observations, forecasts, and other geospatial information.
With the addition of the two new locations, there are now 22 PORTS in busy waterways around nation. These systems give mariners up-to-the-minute information on tides, currents, water and air temperature, barometric pressure, and wind so that they can safely move their vessels—from the smallest recreational craft to the most massive oil tankers—through more than 50 U.S. seaports and waterways. Port authorities, local officials, and marine pilot associations also use PORTS as a decision-making tool to determine if a waterway is open and safe for navigation.
The new Columbia River Estuary Operational Forecast System provides users with nowcast and forecast guidance for water levels, currents, water temperature, and salinity.
In addition to the new PORTS, NOAA also unveiled the new Columbia River Estuary Operational Forecast System (CREOFS) earlier this month. This system is NOAA's first oceanographic operational forecast system on the West Coast, providing users with nowcast and forecast guidance of water levels, currents, water temperature, and salinity out to 48 hours, four times per day.
The new system is divided into five separate geographic areas allowing users to focus on their area of interest. Animation maps for each of the five areas provide winds, water level, currents, temperature, and salinity for over 40 locations. The Columbia River project was developed in a joint partnership with CO-OPS, the Office of Coast Survey, the NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction, and the Oregon Health & Science University; it was coordinated with NWS River Forecast hydrologists.