The Recent Progress of Malaysian Ocean Forecasting System

On 24 November 2020, Dr. Xuanqiang Yin and Dr. Changshui Xia from FIO had an online conference discussing the recent progress of the Malaysian Ocean Forecasting System (MyOFS) with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohd Fadzil Mohd Akhir, Director of the Institute of Oceanography and Environment, and PhD Candidate Kok Poh Heng from the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT).

MyOFS is developed as a supplementary product of the Ocean Forecasting Demonstration System (OFDS) for Southeast Asian Waters, which is one of the SEAGOOS Pilot Projects under the auspices of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (IOC/WESTPAC). It is considered to be the 1st OFDS in Malaysia to have high-resolution forecast data for the marine environment through the collaboration between FIO and UMT. 

The wave-tide-circulation coupled model for the MyOFS has been set up and validated for 2 years, which is used to provide 5-day forecast data on wind, wave, temperature, and current circulation in Malaysian waters. It aims to provide comprehensive, continuous, and reliable data to predict ocean conditions in the region, enabling better preparedness for the extreme events typically triggered by cold surges, storm surges and tropical cyclones in the marine environment, such as marine surveillance, navigation, scientific exploration as well as search and rescue operations.

Figure 1. The online conference on the development of the Malaysian Ocean Forecasting System

Moreover, FIO and UMT are working closely to collect hydrographic data from Malaysian waters. One of the great achievements is the deployment of the 1st oceanographic buoy to collect long-term mooring data in addition to the trawl-resistant bottom mount deployed in the selected locations. Besides, hydrographic surveys have been conducted to collect in situ data along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia using the UMT research vessel, RV Discovery. These data collected are useful for model validation to ensure that the forecast data provided by MyOFS is accurate and reliable.

Figure 2. Validation of the wave-tide-circulation coupled model for the MyOFS

It is noteworthy that the MyOFS is also the outcome of the ODC's Training Course, which offers training lectures and hands-on experience to early career professionals on the development of ocean forecasting model in the Western Pacific and adjacent region. MyOFS is currently under development and data output will be made available for operational purposes via a web page for easy access to users in the public domain. For the next step, the two sides will transform the model for operational test on the high-performance PC in UMT.