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R. M. Clancy
LCDR W. D. Sadler


Fleet Numerical Oceanography Center (FLENUMOCEANCEN) is the navy's real-time prediction center for global-scale and open-ocean regional-scale oceanographic products, having filled this role for over 25 years. FLENUMOCEANCEN provides operational oceanographic services to U.S. and allied naval forces, other components of the Department of Defense, and a wide variety of civilian interests with output from sophisticated ocean models. These models are highly automated and most are linked closely to atmospheric models.

Thermal structure and circulation models provide a representation of the three-dimensional mass and current structure on global coarse-resolution grids and regional eddy-resolving grids. Primary attention is focused on nowcasting ocean thennal structure using optimum interpolation analysis of ship, buoy, hathy, and satellite data. In addition, ocean feature models and synthetic subsurface data are used in conjunction with surface front and eddy locations, inferred primarily from satellite imagery, to provide a sharper subsurface depiction of the ocean mesoscale, which is generally unresolved by the available in situ data. Mixed-layer and circulation models are also employed to improve the thermal structure nowcasts, provide thermal structure forecasts, and produce ocean current forecasts.

Sea-ice models predict the thickness, concentration, and drift of ice in the Arctic basin and marginal seas, with surface winds and heat fluxes as their primary input. These models include ice dynamics and thermodynamics, and are updated from subjective analyses of ice concentration.

Wave models predict directional ocean wave energy spectra from only wind input, simply carrying the spectra forward in time from day to day without any updating from oceanographic observations. A variety of more familiar products, such as significant wave height and primary wave direction and period, are derived from the spectra.

This article gives an overview of FLENUMOCEANCEN ocean-modeling capabilities and identifies goals for the future.

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