Where Modeling Meets Observations: Improving the Great Lakes Operational Forecast System


Improving the Great Lakes Operational Forecast System by creating a data assimilation and model adjustment loop.

Though the Great Lakes are called lakes, because of their sheer size they are truly inland seas. They affect regional weather patterns, provide drinking water to millions of people and drive the economies of several states.

Forecasting the water levels, temperatures and currents of the lakes is highly important because of the myriad ways lake conditions affect commerce, recreation and community well-being. These forecasts comprise the Great Lakes Operational Forecast System (GLOFS), an automated model-based prediction system operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“The system information allows decision makers to make informed decisions and the forecast products have been used by a wide variety of users on a regular basis,” said Philip Chu, supervisory physical scientist of the integrated physical and ecological modeling and forecasting branch of NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL).

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