Connecting sea level forecasts with the bulk export industry

This study summarises the benefits of improving sea level forecasts for use in port operations from a shipping perspective. Maturation of operational sea level and ocean surface anomaly forecast services have provided the opportunity to utilise the skill that they offer to improve logistical operations at bulk goods terminals where short term Under Keel Clearance (UKC) are paramount to efficiency and safety.

OMC International has been collaborating with the Bureau of Meteorology to evaluate the applicability of the OceanMAPS aggregate sea level forecasts that have now transitioned to an ongoing operational service. The development work to evaluate the forecasts was carried out on an experimental development version. The approach developed has proven to have the ability to utilise the improved accuracy of the new model. Furthermore, the availability of water level anomaly forecast models from other providers potentially offer non-correlated skill which can be incorporated into the model in an ensemble consensus style of assimilation.

The different forcing sources, physical models and calculation architecture will be explored to understand the potential of combining heterogeneous numerical model forecasts in an operational setting. To that end, MetOcean Solutions Ltd have also provided operational water level forecasts to validate this hypothesis. This study outlines a stochastic framework for incorporating forecasts from multiple sources to maximise the benefits for the end user, foremost with the particular needs of deep draft vessel import and export shipping.

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