San Francisco Bay Operational Forecast System (SFBOFS)

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A San Francisco Bay Operational Forecast System (SFBOFS) has been developed to serve the San Francisco Bay maritime communities. SFBOFS was jointly developed by the NOAA/National Ocean Service's (NOS) Office of Coast Survey and Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), and the NOAA/National Weather Service's (NWS) National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Central Operations (NCO) and the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. The NWS and NOS work together to run SFBOFS operationally on NOAA's High Performance Computing System (HPCS). By running on NOAA's HPCS, SFBOFS has direct access to National Weather Service operational meteorological products and USGS' measured river data that are required for reliable operations. As its core ocean prediction model, SFBOFS uses the Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model (FVCOM).

SFBOFS provides users with nowcast (analyses of near present) and forecast guidance of water levels, currents, water temperature, and salinity out to 48 hours, four times per day. The SFBOFS model domain is divided into two separate subdomains (the San Francisco Bay and the San Francisco Bay Entrance), allowing users to focus on their area of interest. Animation maps of each of the two subdomains as well as time series at particular stations or points of interest are available at over 50 locations for winds, water levels, currents, temperature, and salinity.

SFBOFS is based on a three-dimensional, high resolution model. With the added reliability of running at NOAA's HPCS, SFBOFS will assist U.S. port authorities and mariners to efficiently navigate the San Francisco Bay without compromising safety.

For more detailed information about SFBOFS, please click here to view the SFBOFS Information web page.

For more information about FVCOM, please click here.

The SFBOFS model provides forecast guidance for water levels, currents, water temperature, and salinity within its domain.

The San Francisco Bay Operational Forecast System (SFBOFS) has been implemented by NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) to provide the maritime user community with short-term predictions of water levels, water currents, water temperatures and salinity of the San Francisco Bay. SFBOFS uses a numerical hydrodynamic model to generate the nowcast and forecast information; therefore, they should be considered as model-generated nowcast and forecast guidance.

During extreme weather conditions, water level forecast guidance data are released for public utility and should be used with appropriate caution.