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Real-time forecasting at weekly timescales of the SST and SLA of the Ligurian Sea with a satellite-based ocean forecasting (SOFT) system

AuthorsÁlvarez-Díaz, Alberto ; Orfila, Alejandro ; Tintoré, Joaquín
KeywordsGenetic programming
Ocean prediction
Operational oceanography
Issue Date2004
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
CitationJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 109(3): C03023 1-11 (2004)
AbstractSatellites are the only systems able to provide continuous information on the spatiotemporal variability of vast areas of the ocean. Relatively long-term time series of satellite data are nowadays available. These spatiotemporal time series of satellite observations can be employed to build empirical models, called satellite-based ocean forecasting (SOFT) systems, to forecast certain aspects of future ocean states. SOFT systems can predict satellite-observed fields at different timescales. The forecast skill of SOFT systems forecasting the sea surface temperature (SST) at monthly timescales has been extensively explored in previous works. In this work we study the performance of two SOFT systems forecasting, respectively, the SST and sea level anomaly (SLA) at weekly timescales, that is, providing forecasts of the weekly averaged SST and SLA fields with 1 week in advance. The SOFT systems were implemented in the Ligurian Sea (Western Mediterranean Sea). Predictions from the SOFT systems are compared with observations and with the predictions obtained from persistence models. Results indicate that the SOFT system forecasting the SST field is always superior in terms of predictability to persistence. Minimum prediction errors in the SST are obtained during winter and spring seasons. On the other hand, the biggest differences between the performance of SOFT and persistence models are found during summer and autumn. These changes in the predictability are explained on the basis of the particular variability of the SST field in the Ligurian Sea. Concerning the SLA field, no improvements with respect to persistence have been found for the SOFT system forecasting the SLA field. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.
Identifiersissn: 0148-0227
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