NOAA Launches New Forecast Models to Help Mariners

Mariners and emergency responders travelling along the West Coast and Northern Gulf of Mexico will soon be able to receive more navigational insight on the areas’ coastal conditions, thanks to a pair of new models announced Wednesday by NOAA.

The new coastal condition forecast models, which will offer “continuous quality-controlled data on water levels, currents, water temperature and salinity out to 72 hours,” will be part of a group of 13 other models located throughout U.S. waters.

The Northern Gulf of Mexico model, in particular, unifies three other models and expands the coverage from the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge, Lake Pontchartrain and Bartaria Bay in Louisiana, and along the Corpus Christi waterways and to the Mexico border. The seaports covered by this model are some of the busiest in the nation in terms of tonnage, energy, value and other measures.

“The West Coast model will help the Coast Guard with search and rescue and has implications for other stakeholder groups, such as navigation, shipping, and fisheries,” Nicole LeBoeuf, acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service, explained. “The Gulf model improves the safety of marine navigation in an area vital to the safe movement of energy resources and other shipping.”

By Pacific Maritime