New Developments for NOAA’s operational upper Ocean Heat Content product suite
Event: 2019 Ocean Surface Topography Science Team Meeting
Session: Application development for Operations
Presentation type: Type Poster
The NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service operational satellite-derived Ocean Heat Content product (in production since September 11, 2012) is used to improve NOAA’s predictions of tropical cyclone intensification. Ocean Heat Content, in this context, is the amount of energy stored in the ocean at sea temperatures of 26C and above. The existing operational algorithm is a geographically-based one that incorporates sea level anomaly, sea surface temperature, and ocean climatological information. We discuss the proposed development of an improved operational algorithm that is parameterized primarily in terms of steric height relative to a deep reference level. This parameterization depends on the generally strong correlation between steric height and the absolute dynamic topography. Due to its formulation, this new parameterization is expected to be able to capitalize on the increased resolution of the upcoming high-rate delay-Doppler missions and SWOT. The correlation between observed steric height and existing near-real time sea level anomaly (SLA) products is also examined. This includes the one currently used in the operational OHC product – from the US Navy’s operational Altimeter Products System (ALPS) - and the new optimally interpolated gridded SLA from the Radar Altimeter Database System (RADS). Preliminary results are shown for a testbed region, the Gulf of Mexico.