European Directory of Marine Environmental Data (EDMED)

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Data set name

The POL Operational Storm Surge Model Data Archive (1982-)

Data holding centreProudman Oceanographic Laboratory
CountryUnited Kingdom  United Kingdom
Time periodFrom 1982 onwards
Geographical area

North West European shelf (48-63° N, 12° W-13° E)


Bathymetry and Elevation; Horizontal velocity of the water column (currents); Sea level




A storm surge forecast scheme, based on a model developed and maintained by POL for the Department of Environment Food and Regional Affairs (DEFRA), formerly the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), has been in routine use at the Meteorological Office since the autumn of 1978. The present scheme makes use of meteorological data from the Limited Area Model (LAM) which runs operationally at the UK Meteorological Office for weather forecasting. The present version of the storm surge model was implemented in 1991 and runs on the Met. Office's CRAY YMP. The previous surge model, which ran from 1982 to 1991, had a resolution of 35km and was developed to make optimum use of the Met. Office's CYBER 205E. The installation of a CRAY YMP at the Met. Office allowed the implementation of a new model which had three times the resolution of the previous one. The present storm surge model runs operationally at the Met. Office, twice a day, every day, throughout the storm surge season. It runs shortly after the main atmospheric model runs (00:00h and 12:00h GMT). This model is of higher resolution (approximately 12km) than the atmospheric model (approximately 50km) and its coverage extends from 48 N to 63 N and from 12 W to 13 E. The model computes the tide and surge motion and produces surge forecasts which are used by the Storm Tide Warning Service at Bracknell for flood warning purposes. The operational surge model archive contains model arrays of elevation and horizontal components of hourly residual current covering the entire model domain. The operational surge model will run a twelve hour hindcast and thirty six hour forecast. The data from the hindcast part of the run are archived since they provide the most reliable model information. These data describe the meteorologically driven components of sea surface elevation and depth mean current which are of use for a number of scientific and other applications. The operational surge model runs from late August to early May - producing data for eight whole months and two partial months. Typically, one season's data (in compressed archive format) occupies approximately 600 Mbytes of storage).

OriginatorsProudman Oceanographic Laboratory

Smith, J.A. (1994) The Operational Storm Surge Model Data Archive., Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Report No. 34, 34pp.

Data web site
OrganisationProudman Oceanographic Laboratory
ContactThe Director

Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory
Joseph Proudman Building 6 Brownlow Street
L3 5DA
United Kingdom

Telephone+44 151 795 4800
Collating centreBritish Oceanographic Data Centre
Local identifier1054003
Global identifier736
Last revised2009-10-15