Northeast Wave Forecast
WARNING: These coastal wave forecasts are experimental and should NOT be relied upon as a primary source of wave forecast information. Significant errors in predicting coastal wave heights and the timing of storm events are known to occur.
About this forecast map
- The maps depict forecast surface wave conditions in the Gulf of Maine 48 hours in the future
- Colors represent "significant wave height," the most probable height (in meters) of the largest wind-driven waves
- Arrows show the direction that the largest wind-driven waves travel
- Arrow length represent wave period - defined as time (in seconds) between successive wave crests - shorter arrows correspond to choppy seas and longer arrows indicate swells
- Forecast maps are updated twice daily
- The 10 digit time stamp at the end of the map caption indicates the year, month, day, and hour of the map in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).
Safe and efficient maritime activity is dependent on the delivery of accurate and timely wave forecasts. Winds generate surface waves; thus, wave forecasts are driven by wind forecasts. Wave forecasts are based on computer models; however, many of these models are tailored to Atlantic Ocean's deep waters, not the relatively shallow Gulf of Maine.
Wave models in the Northeast
Scientists at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography are providing NERACOOS with wave model results for the Atlantic, Western Atlantic and Gulf of Maine regions based on the WaveWatch III model.
The details of the WaveWatch III model configuration can be found at: http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/waves/wavewatch/wavewatch.html.
Additionally, researchers at Texas A & M University at Galveston produce Gulf of Maine wave predictions. These predictions are available here: http://www.tamug.edu/mase/Wave_file/wave%20simulations.htm