RTOFS Global HYCOM, and other changes
One of the major gaps in the LuckGrib suite of GRIB models has been the lack of a global ocean current model. Being able to anticipate the ocean surface current can be critical for sailors, in certain areas. This has now been fixed, with the introduction of the RTOFS Global model.
The RTOFS Global model offers 1/12° resolution (5 nm) which is excellent for a global model. Current speed and direction, along with water temperature are provided.
See the RTOFS Global page for more details.
In addition to the global ocean current model, two additional, high resolution regional models are also available. One of the models covers the East coast of the USA, which includes the Gulf Stream. The NCOM (Navy Coastal Ocean Model) US East model offers data at a 2 nm resolution, which provides excellent coverage in this area of strong currents. The NCOM Caribbean current model is also now available, also at a 2 nm resolution.
Zooming into the model above, it is easy to see how a small adjustment to a course can put a vessel into a region where there is 2 kts of current, only 15 nm north of the direct course.
Along with the addition of these ocean current models, the previous regional RTOFS subset models have now been removed. There was simply no need for these old models as the global model is now available.
Three regional WW3 wave models were also removed. The availability of two global wave models, in addition to a number of regional ones, provides excellent coverage for the LuckGrib community with respect to wave data.
With the addition of these ocean current models, the LuckGrib suite of GRIB models offers everything a sailor would need to perform their weather routing and make weather and routing decisions.
LuckGrib has many global atmospheric models to choose from, along with global ocean wave and current models. In addition, higher resolution regional models are available in many areas.
With these changes, LuckGrib offers best in class access to weather and ocean forecast data.