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Chesapeake Bay Operational Forecast System (CBOFS)


CBOFS acronym in purple imposed over map of Chesapeake Bay showing water levels that are color coded.  The Chesapeake Bay Operational Forecast System (CBOFS) was the first of the Marine Modeling and Analysis Program (MMAP) water level prediction systems to be made operational (August 2001). It consists of a simple two dimensional hydrodynamic model capable of using real time wind measurements and astronomical tidal constituents to derive predictions of water level changes over the next 24 hours. The model is routinely run at the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) office, which hosts the model forecasts

The CBOFS is also the first model to be converted to the Coastal Ocean Modeling Framework (COMF). This means that all the data inputs and data export methods are in conformance with standards established for MMAP modeling systems. The nowcast realtime wind and water level data are accessed from NOAA CO-OPS and National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) websites using COMF middleware. The model is forced by the wind measurements from the Thomas Point Lighthouse Coasta -Marine Automated Network (CC-MAN) station and Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON) site. Off shore water level deviations are based on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel NWLON. River discharges are accessed from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) websites for gauged rivers surrounding the Chesapeake Bay. The forecast runs require a forecast for the winds and a forecast for the off-shore water level. The North American Mesoscale model from the National Weather Service's (NWS) National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) provides the wind forcing four times daily. 


The offshore prediction of water level is obtained from the NWS Extratropical Water Level Forecast.

In addition to providing the graphical displays for water level forecasts, the CBOFS has been used as an experimental vehicle to test the usefulness of providing model result files directly to the public through OpeNDAP technology.

This is an example of web services which make it possible to interact with sophisticated models through web portals, and has made possible other products such as sea nettle predictions, the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Larvae Tracker(CBOLT)  and the Chesapeake Bay Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) prediction system.

Computer screen capture of CBOFS Water Level Time Series, Baltimore MD, showing graph with observed, predicted, nowcast and forecast water levels.

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