The Coupled Ocean/Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS) was developed by the Marine Meteorology Division (MMD) of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). The atmospheric components of COAMPS are used operationally by the U.S. Navy for short-term numerical weather prediction for various regions around the world. It represents an analysis, now cast and short-term (up to 72 hours) forecast tool applicable to any given region of the earth.
COAMPS includes an atmospheric data assimilation system (comprised of data quality control, analysis and initialization), a non-hydrostatic atmospheric model component and an ocean model component (NCOM). Data assimilation is the method of using observations from aircraft, rawinsondes, ships, buoys, satellites and other data sources to enhance the model’s analysis. Experience has shown that the inclusion of these observations dramatically improves model skill, especially in the case of moisture fields with COAMPS. The non-hydrostatic model formulation (no adherence to the hydrostatic assumption) allows the model to solve complicated equations associated with very small scale weather features, such as thunderstorms. The coupling of the NCOM ocean model to the atmospheric model was necessitated by the increasing awareness of the importance of the ocean and atmosphere (e.g. El Nino) to weather forecasting. In a fully coupled mode, the atmospheric and oceanic models can be integrated simultaneously so that the precipitation and the surface fluxes of moisture and momentum are exchanged across the air-sea interface.
For more information about COAMPS please visit: http://www.nrlmry.navy.mil/coamps-web/web/home.