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Navy Pushes Global and Hurricane Forecast Improvements

June 7, 2012

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, James West

The U.S. Navy, with a fleet operating in every ocean of the world and a team of forecasters and field observers supporting them, is researching the links between the ocean and weather patterns around the world.

The Navy focuses much of its weather-related research on tropical cyclones that form around the world, including hurricanes that develop in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. One promising real-time, high-resolution Navy computer forecast model has demonstrated better skill at forecasting storm track and strength than other computer model approaches currently utilized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration`s National Hurricane Center.

"There is a concerted effort to link various atmospheric and oceanic models together to attain more accurate weather forecasts," said Dan Eleuterio, a program officer at the Office of Naval Research.

Another area of focus for Navy researchers, in cooperation with the multi-agency National Ice Center, has been the Arctic ice flows at the top of the Earth.

"The Arctic ice flows are retreating, and that has strategic implications for our country and naval operations in that region of the world as sea lanes open for shipping," said Rear Adm. David Titley, director of the Navy`s Task Force Climate Change.

The Navy uses data from its own ships, satellites, underwater autonomous vehicles, ocean gliders and other sensors to collect data above and in the world`s oceans. The data feed the development of high-powered computer models and help in the development of more accurate weather forecasts not only over the world`s oceans but over land as well.

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Source: Office of Naval Research

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