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Ocean forecast verification

North Atlantic currents from an ocean model showing the gulf stream.

Verification plays an important role in informing users about the accuracy of our ocean model forecasts, and helps to guide future model developments and system improvements.

The primary purpose of the ocean forecast verification team is to provide support to the model development group in assessing the quality of different configurations of the Forecast Ocean Assimilation Model (FOAM), which includes both global and regional applications. This is done by comparing the model forecasts against different types of observations, such as buoys, vessels, profiles and satellites. The team also assess new observation types, such as those obtained from marine mammals, which can provide useful additional datasets in otherwise sparsely sampled regions.
 
Alongside the verification of Met Office forecasts the team contributes to external projects such as the Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) and Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE), as well as conducting research activities into the development of new metrics suitable for ocean models. The team also interacts with the verification team to understand how verification methods and techniques used in atmospheric science could be applied to ocean models.

Key aims

  • To monitor the accuracy of the ocean forecasting models.
  • To understand how Met Office models perform, and guide future model developments.
  • To assess and develop verification metrics suitable for ocean parameters.
  • To assess the quality and usefulness of new observation types.

Current projects

  • Monitoring the accuracy of Met Office operational models and identifying systematic errors, in particular those that have the biggest impact on users.
  • Participating in the GODAE intercomparison of modelling centres, which will enable identification of areas where Met Office models can be improved.
  • Developing verification tools and techniques.
  • Understanding how Met Office ocean forecasting skill has evolved over recent years.

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