Modeling and Satellites

The operational model and satellite products are important and visible aspects of NERACOOS. The hindcast/forecast models incorporate the real-time weather and ocean data being collected by the NERACOOS and other platforms in the region to improve their model accuracy. The output products of these components have a wide variety of applications, ranging from providing a spatial/temporal synthesis of in-situ data collected by fixed (moorings) and/or moving (shipboard, gliders) platforms, to providing forecasts of hazardous conditions (severe weather, waves and seas, HABs).


NERACOOS supports the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO) and the University of Maine (UMaine) in ongoing modeling efforts in the Gulf of Maine.

NERACOOS is also supporting the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth (UMassD) to develop a full marine environmental hindcast/forecast system (Northeast Coastal Ocean Forecast System, or NECOFS) for the Scotian Shelf/Gulf of Maine/Georges Bank/New England Shelf region. This system features three core model components:

  1. The NOAA/NCAR Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) mesoscale weather model configured to provide surface weather, wind stress, heat flux, and precipitation minus evaporation flux over the Northeast regional domain with 9-km resolution,
  2. FVCOM-SWAVE, an unstructured-grid finite-volume surface wave based on the Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN) surface wave model, and
  3. The unstructured-grid Finite-Volume Coastal Ocean Model (FVCOM) configured with horizontal resolution of 0.3-1.0 km in the coastal region and a generalized terrain-following vertical coordinate with a total of 46 layers (including 10 uniformly thick layers in the surface and bottom boundary layers, respectively.

The NECOFS 3-day forecasts are available at:

With support from neighboring Mid-Atlantic Coastal and Ocean Observing Regional Association (MACOORA), circulation and storm surge models are available to the NERACOOS region from the Long Island Sound Integrated Coastal Observing System (LISICOS).

Satellite Data

BIO, UMaine, and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) will continue ongoing satellite remote sensing activities in support of NERACOOS in the Gulf of Maine.

  • BIO obtains MERIS imagery to coincide with regular shipboard surveys in the northern Gulf of Maine. These data, commencing 25 May 2008, are served internally at BIO for scrutiny and analysis.
  • UMaine processes and distributes satellite SST, ocean color, true color and QuickScat winds through the U Maine website.
  • UNH processes and serves MODIS chlorophyll-a and sea surface temperature (SST) imagery to provide the daily satellite data source for the ECOHAB red tide monitoring forecast system as part of NOAA-funded GOMTOX program.