Nowcast Water Surface Temperatures For the Delaware Bay and Coast
The Delaware Bay OFS Water Temperature Nowcast
I use a lot of different services for weather, water temperatures and the like. NOAA is the top dog for all this information and the Operational Forecast System is amazing.
There are other water temperature services, but at the end of the day. All the data “roads” lead back to NOAA. Real time is a phrase, it isn’t exactly real time, but this is as close as you are going to get.
NOAA … “Nowcasts and forecasts are scientific predictions about the present and future states of water levels (and possibly currents and other relevant oceanographic variables, such as salinity and temperature) in a coastal area. These predictions rely on either observed data or forecasts from a numerical model. A nowcast incorporates recent (and often near real-time) observed meteorological, oceanographic, and/or river flow rate data. A nowcast covers the period of time from the recent past (e.g., the past few days) to the present, and it can make predictions for locations where observational data are not available. A forecast incorporates meteorological, oceanographic, and/or river flow rate forecasts and makes predictions for times where observational data will not be available. A forecast is usually initiated by the results of a nowcast. “
The Delaware Bay Operational Forecast System (OFS) Water Temperature Nowcast is just another one of the hundreds of “products” available on NOAA’s websites. Navigating these sites can take some time, but the information is all out there. The Chesapeake bay service was recently upgraded as well, Chesapeake Bay Operational Forecast System (CBOFS)
From NOAA’s website … NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) has developed a Delaware Bay Operational Forecast System (DBOFS). DBOFS is based on a three-dimensional ROMS model that runs on NOAA’s High Performance Computers (HPC). DBOFS provides water level, currents, water temperature and salinity nowcast and forecast guidance as well as interpolated winds from National Weather Service products. DBOFS runs four times per day and generates 6-hour nowcasts and 48-hour forecast guidance. DBOFS products include time series graphics at station locations and aerial animations of the whole Delaware Bay for all five parameters (wind, water level, currents, temperature and salinity).
The Operational Forecast System for the Delaware Bay also lets you see a smidge of the inland bays.
I prefer to use the USGS National Water Information System for Masseys Ditch to get Inland Bay temperatures. This is a real time temperature reading. The graph can also give you an idea of the tide. As the water temperature goes up the tide is going out, as the water temperature goes down the tide is incoming. The peak of the temperature graph is high tide the bottom of the temperature graph is low tide. For other USGS stations the new USGS National Water Dashboard interactive accesses real-time water data from over 13,500 stations nationwide.
Side note … NOAA needs upgrades to its infrastructure too. There are some real issues they are having and many of their products are being moved around to accommodate these infrastructure failures. I have to pay close attention to constant product updates to know where a service has been moved or even exists anymore. There are a lot of dead web page links out there now due to this. It can be a real challenge to keep these current. NOAA changes a product location and we have to change a dozen links.
It wouldn’t take much to fix all of this, but it would take an act of congress. Tell your representatives and senators to support upgrading NOAA. We ALL rely on their data for everything when it comes to weather, and the water.