Severe Weather Patterns Impacts on Navy Ports

Weather Impacts

My name is Dave Peterson. I am a meteorologist in the marine meteorology division here in Monterey California. My job description varies widely we have a lot of opportunity in this lab, so I work investigating severe weather hazards that impact naval operations in ports worldwide.

I also do a lot of work with satellite data and observing various weather patterns and we also work directly with atmospheric constituents such as dust smoke and pollution that would obscure visibility and impact naval weapon systems.

One of my primary focuses is what called severe weather port studies are and our lab for several decades has been working to investigate ports around the world, where the Navy would pull in to determine. What types of weather hazards would affect operations in those ports and when ships would need to leave port or stay in port.

Depending on what conditions were present, so tropical cyclones as we know from this past year in the southeast have been a major hazard storm. Surge impacts can affect ships it costs a lot of time, money and energy to get those ships out of port. Before a storm so knowing when what conditions you would have to initiate a sortie like that or can a ship stay in port and be safe that’s the information we’re trying to provide to the fleet.

The effort began back in the 1970s there were some incidents where ships were damaged due to severe weather and that initiated the effort to keep ship safe in ports and it slowly grew to include all areas that the Navy is operating in worldwide. So modern delivery systems there are we are in an age of big data. There are all sorts of data sources that the Navy is using worldwide port information is just one layer in that data, so there are various ways.

Now to deliver that to the fleet in a modern way where you can overlay weather information port guides various tactical maps all in one system. We are trying to make sure that information on ports as well as the weather is included in those systems. The primary reason for having this information on a ship is very simple the Navy is pulling into a port you have to know what the conditions are in that port and you have to know what the hazards are and these are either weather hazards or hazards related to where a ship would dock or underwater shipwrecks things like, that are all included what makes this lab unique is just the team atmosphere. Our group works together very well. We leverage each other’s strengths in order to produce scientific results, so if one person is good at one thing and one is that another we can combine that and produce a quality result in a reasonable amount of time.


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