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Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecasting


The purpose of this project is to improve upon NOAA’s HAB nowcast and forecast capabilities through seamless and reliable ingestion of forecasted currents. While the HAB-FS currently takes into consideration NOAA operational forecast winds, this is done subjectively by NOAA CO-OPS and CCMA staffs rather than using forecast models to transport blooms from nowcast positions (i.e., bloom identification) to determine forecast locations and trajectories. CCMA is currently working with NOAA’s Coast Survey Development Laboratory to ingest modeled 2-dimensional surface current forecasts during historical bloom events along the West Florida Shelf. The currents provided from CSDL through the NGOM (NOAA Gulf of Mexico) model will be paired with satellite in particle tracking software produced by NOAA’s   Office of Response and Restoration called GNOME (General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment). In this method we are tracking blooms and making hindcasted predictions on transport and intensification of  HABs. Methods that are proving to be useful will then be incorporated into the HAB forecasting framework. This project is funded by NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System.


In FY06, this project provided technical support to CO-OPS for the eastern Gulf of Mexico.  This involves the following areas:

  • coordinating with the management and public communities on the nature of the forecasts and identification of improvements and modifications;  
  • responding to technical questions by CO-OPS;
  • responding to problematic events, such as unusual mortality events for marine mammals and endangered species;
  • implementing new capabilities in Florida
  • implementing a demonstration system in Texas

and  This project has produced an operational forecast system for Karenia brevis in the Gulf of Mexico.  In addition, research will be conducted to improve the current forecasts through the use of optical methods and modeling techniques.

Overall, this project will improve management capabilities in the Gulf of Mexico for detecting, monitoring and mitigating impacts due to K. brevis.

Time Frame


For More Information

Project Manager:
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 x173