More Info on nowCOAST:
nowCOAST is a GIS web mapping portal providing links to thousands of real-time coastal observations, NOAA
forecasts, and NOAA weather data and products of interest to the marine community. The portal serves as a "one-stop shopping"
web site to real-time coastal
information for US coastal areas including the Great Lakes from a variety of Internet sites both within and outside of NOAA.
nowCOAST is designed to be a planning aid to
assist recreational and commercial mariners, coastal managers, HAZMAT responders, computer modelers, and marine educators to
discover and display real-time information for their particular needs and geographic area of interest.
nowCOAST provides a dynamic, user-controlled geographic information systems (GIS) map of the locations of observation stations and
forecast products that is "clickable", meaning that the user can click on these locations on the map and be redirected to
pre-existing Web sites that display the particular observation or forecast. An underlying geospatially-enabled database provides
the needed geographic referencing and metadata storage. nowCOAST uses ESRI ArcIMS/ArcSDE and Oracle database software. It's web client
viewer is built upon Apache Jakarta Tomcat Servlet container and satandards-based Java Web technology including JSP and JDBC and utilizes
the Java Connector API to ArcIMS. Future plans include the addition of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Mapping Service (WMS) and Web
Feature Service (WFS) capability for the open standards GIS community.
nowCOAST was recently expanded to include on-map displays of georeference satellite, weather radar, and in-situ surface meteorological and oceanographic
observations. The raster satellite datasets in nowCOAST include: NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) East and West
visible and infrared (IR) images of cloud cover updated hourly and twice hourly, respectively. nowCOAST includes composite NWS
NEXRAD Doppler Radar mosaic for the contiguous US, updated every fifteen minutes. nowCOAST also includes global surface met and
ocean observations layers updated on an hourly basis. These on-map observation variables include: air temperature, dew point temp,
wind direction and speed, sea-level pressure, visibility, and sea-surface temperature. Included in the future will be: wave height,
swell period and direction, and water levels. Observations are taken from airport staions (NWS/FAA ASOS/AWOS), NDBC C-MAN and fixed
and drifting data buoys, and ships from the Voluntary Observing Ship program. Future will include obs from NOS PORTS and NWLON networks.
The portal includes links to meteorological, oceanographic, and river observations from in-situ and remote-sensing platforms
from observing networks operated by federal and state agencies and educational institutions. These networks include but are not
limited to ASOS/AWOS airway stations, NDBC fixed buoys and C-MAN coastal platforms, US Geological Survey (USGS) river gages, NEXRAD
Doppler radars, National Ocean Service (NOS) PORTS (Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System) and NWLON (National Water Level
Observing Network), National Weather Service (NWS) IFLOWS (Integrated Flood Observation and Warning System),
NOAA CRN (Climate Reference Network), and NOAA Homeland Security UrbaNet stations.
In addition to these federally-operated national networks, nowCOAST's provides GIS
map display of locations of and links to observations from the following regional observing networks and Integrated Ocean Observing
Network (IOOS) networks: Caro-COOPS (Carolina), CBOS (Chesapeake Bay), CORIE (Columbia River, OR/WA), GLERL (Great Lakes),
GoMOOS (Gulf of Maine), ICON (Monterrey Bay), LIShore Network (Long Island, NY), LUMCON and WAVCIS (Louisiana), NEOCO (California),
PWSN (Prince William Sound, AK), Scripps Oceanographic Institute buoy network (via NDBC), SABSOON (South Atlantic Bight),
TABS (Texas coast), TCOON (Texas water levels), and USF COMPS (Florida). NowCOAST also links to water quality observations from
Maryland's Department of Natural Resources, the New Jersey DEP, and EPA's EMPACT for Long Island Sound. NowCOAST also includes
GIS layers for boundary layer wind profiler stations, and radiosonde upper-air profilers, and regional high-frequency radar surface
current observations for certain US coastal regions.
The forecast products that nowCOAST links to include 1) forecast "guidance" from NOAA's computer-based estuarine, oceanographic,
river, and weather prediction models and 2) worded marine weather and general weather forecasts for geographic areas. Forecast models that nowCOAST links to
include: ETSS (Extratropical Storm Surge), MOS (Model Output Statistics) from ETA, NGM, GFS, WaveWatch III (wave height point guidance),
NWS AHPS river stage forecast system, and NOS estuarine forecast models for Port of NY/NJ, Chesapeake Bay, and Galveston Bay.
NowCOAST will soon include on-map display of gridded fields from NWS' National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) including
maximum temperature, minimum temperature, probability of precipitation, wave height, and wind speed and direction.
Text forecasts included in nowCOAST are NWS regional county weather forecasts for the entire United States and Puerto Rico,
coastal and offshore forecasts produced by WFOs for the entire US coast, Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) and Tropical
Prediction Centers (TPC) high seas forecasts for the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific Oceans, as well as surf zone and rip tide
forecasts including water temperature, wave height and strength and associated risk to beaches and the coastal zone produced by
WFOs for selected US regions including the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coast, southern Pacific coast, and Hawaii.
In addition, the portal includes links to NOS's display of astronomical tidal predictions for sites along the coast.
The portal interface allows users to quickly create a "clickable" map of real-time observing or forecast sites via four
"pull-down" menus. A user can specify location (i.e. estuary, seaport, coastal region, or lake), 2) type of observation of
forecast, 3) variable, and 4) time. Once the map appears, the user can simply click on the observation or forecast site to
display the information or use a variety of map tools to zoom in/out, select, pan, identify, or query. Users can also overlay
different types of observation and forecast map layers on a single map.
For additional information about nowCOAST, visit: http://nowcoast.noaa.gov/help/