The NOAA Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) will be performing a current survey of about 120 locations throughout Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The results of this survey will be used to improve tidal current predictions in the NOAA Tidal Current Tables, to support a new operational forecast model, and will be provided to our partners, stakeholders and the general public.
The tidal current predictions in the Tidal Current Tables for the Puget Sound region are presently being generated from limited amounts of data collected in the 1930s-1960s. With improvements in measurement and computing technology, the accuracy of these predictions will be improved. Furthermore, the data collected will provide longer-term current measurements, which are required to create an accurate operational forecast model of Puget Sound. Attendance at public stakeholder meetings provides the opportunity to participate and provide input.
Since the 1800's CO-OPS and its predecessors have collected tidal current information to maintain and update the predictions in the NOAA Tidal Current Tables. CO-OPS annually deploys current meters in several tidally dominant locations around the country. Deployments typically last for at least one month, and collect enough current data to perform a tidal harmonic analysis. This analysis results in current predictions which are disseminated in the Tidal Current Tables and the CO-OPS website (http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov.) In addition to tidal predictions, these data can be used for circulation analysis, hydrodynamic models, and are available to the public.