Marine forecasts aid safety

DAVE BURGESS
Last updated 05:00 02/04/2014

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A subsidiary of MetService has refined a new forecasting technique which can provide pinpoint weather and marine forecasts for any location in the world.

MetraWeather has spent the past couple of years creating Downscaled Super Ensembles (DSE) and is already providing forecasts for four local and Australian clients in the oil, gas and mining industries.

Business development manager Peter Fisher said that DSE allowed engineers to assess the risk to their offshore operations.

"Five to seven days in advance we can provide decision-makers with vital information about the potential severity of storms, which provides valuable insights for planning safe operations."

The forecasts are compiled from multiple global data sources which are then tailored to the exact location of interest, resulting in a cluster of 78 individual wave and wind forecasts for analysis.

Fisher said DSE was robust and had been thoroughly tested. Forecasts could be generated for anywhere on Earth.

"The true benefit of DSE is that it provides the marine and offshore industries with a higher level of confidence for making safe decisions, applying the absolute best available information."

A number of New Zealand and Australian ports have shown interest in the new DSE.

DSE could also be used to forecast safety thresholds for search and rescue, transit forecasts for oceanographic voyages and helicopter operations on offshore platforms, Fisher said.

DSE forecasting will be demonstrated at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association oil and gas conference in Perth, from April 6-9.

AT A GLANCE

In a move to improve harbour safety, MetraWeather has been contracted to deliver real-time weather and marine forecasting services to Sydney Ports.

The online, industry-specific MetOceanView will provide regularly updated high-resolution and chance-related forecasts of important marine and weather conditions.

Sydney Ports will also have access to MetraWeather's interactive under-keel clearance safety and berth safety forecasts.

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