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June 4, 2012

Marine Weather Forecasting in the Carolinas

BackgroundThe Carolinas Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (RCOOS), a network of coastal and ocean observing platforms funded by the NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and SECOORA, is a coordinated and multifaceted observing system for North Carolina and South Carolina. The Carolinas RCOOS is a complete operational system that deploys and maintains coastal and oceanographic observing systems, provides data management and analyses for observations and model development, and conducts outreach and partnership activities in both states. Information collected through the Carolinas RCOOS aids NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) in making marine forecasts and determining when to issue Special Marine Advisories.ApproachThe Carolinas RCOOS currently operates 9 real time stations in North Carolina and South Carolina coastal waters, which collect and report weather and oceanographic conditions. Data including wave height, period and direction, wind speed, gust and direction, air temperature and water temperature are collected via surface and sub-surface equipment mounted on buoys and piers. This information is used by the general public as well as by a number of State and Federal agencies.ValueNOAA’s NWS meteorologists routinely use Carolinas RCOOS observing data. During March 2007, the network of buoys off the Cape Fear coast indicated the passage of a cold front much ...