This report discusses the design and implementation of a specialized forecasting system that was set up to support the observational component of the Labrador Sea Deep Convection Experiment. This ongoing experiment is a multidisciplinary program of observations, theory, and modeling aimed at improving our knowledge of the deep convection process in the ocean, and the air–sea interaction that forces it. The observational part of the program was centered around a cruise of the R/V Knorr during winter 1997, as well as several complementary meteorological research flights. To aid the planning of ship and aircraft operations a specially tailored mesoscale model was run over the Labrador Sea, with the model output postprocessed and transferred to a remote field base. The benefits of using a warm-start analysis cycle in the model are discussed. The utility of the forecasting system is illustrated through a description of the flight planning process for several cases. The forecasts proved to be invaluable both in ship operations and in putting the aircraft in the right place at the right time. In writing this narrative the authors hope to encourage the use of similar forecasting systems in the support of future field programs, something that is becoming increasingly possible with the rise in real-time numerical weather prediction.

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Footnotes

*Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

+Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California.

#Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California.