National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2016

Experiments with seasonal forecasts of ocean conditions for the northern region of the California Current upwelling system

Siedlecki, S.A., I.C. Kaplan, A.J. Hermann, T.T. Nguyen, N.A. Bond, J.A. Newton, G.D. Williams, W.T. Peterson, S. Alin, and R.A. Feely

Scientific Reports, 6, 27203, doi: 10.1038/srep27203, Published online (2016)

Resource managers at the state, federal, and tribal levels make decisions on a weekly to quarterly basis, and fishers operate on a similar timeframe. To determine the potential of a support tool for these efforts, a seasonal forecast system is experimented with here. JISAO’s Seasonal Coastal Ocean Prediction of the Ecosystem (J-SCOPE) features dynamical downscaling of regional ocean conditions in Washington and Oregon waters using a combination of a high-resolution regional model with biogeochemistry and forecasts from NOAA’s Climate Forecast System (CFS). Model performance and predictability were examined for sea surface temperature (SST), bottom temperature, bottom oxygen, pH, and aragonite saturation state through model hindcasts, reforecast, and forecast comparisons with observations. Results indicate J-SCOPE forecasts have measurable skill on seasonal timescales. Experiments suggest that seasonal forecasting of ocean conditions important for fisheries is possible with the right combination of components. Those components include regional predictability on seasonal timescales of the physical environment from a large-scale model, a high-resolution regional model with biogeochemistry that simulates seasonal conditions in hindcasts, a relationship with local stakeholders, and a real-time observational network. Multiple efforts and approaches in different regions would advance knowledge to provide additional tools to fishers and other stakeholders.

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