May 29, 2012
Ocean training for South American forecasters
Forecasters and researchers from across South America recently took part in marine forecasting training, jointly set up by EUMETSAT and NOAA.
From May 13 to May 18 the Brazilian space agency CPTEC-INPE hosted a training course for South American forecasters and researchers on the use of satellite wind and wave data.
The course covered the use of scatterometers (ASCAT and OSCAT) and altimeters (Jason 1, 2 and Cryosat) in operational marine forecasting and for research and data assimilation. The course agenda was designed around the successful training in Oostende in 2011.
The scatterometer element covers wind vectors, ambiguities and variability, or Maximum Likelihood Estimate (MLE), from the level 2 products. From the MLE forecasters are able to get information about the variability of winds, this was an example, for the students, of a research product which is now ready for trial in operational centres.
For the course data were provided by NOAA and the core visualisation tool was GEMPAK/NAWIPS.
Mark Higgins, EUMETSAT trainer, said: "The students really appreciated being able to bring wave height, wind and imagery into one place. This makes it easier for them to interpret the data and spend more time thinking about their forecasts than gathering the data. Students also said they appreciated the potential in the scatterometer and altimeter data and the importance of integrated display systems. All had plans to bring the data into use in their services. "
It was attended by 38 students from Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Ecuador. This course was supported by NOAA, UCAR, EUMETSAT, including OSI SAF, and MétéoFrance and is the third marine training that has been organised by NOAA-EUMETSAT.
Mark Higgins added:"This is a perfect example of how Metop products can be used around the world for marine safety."