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‘Underwater forecast’ predicts temperature, acidity and more in Puget Sound

Most of us rely on the weather forecast to choose our outfit or make outdoor plans for the weekend. But conditions underwater can also be useful to know in advance, especially if you’re an oyster farmer, a fisher or even a recreational diver.

A new University of Washington computer model can predict conditions in Puget Sound and off the coast of Washington three days into the future. LiveOcean, completed this past summer, uses marine currents, river discharges and weather above the water to create the forecasts. LiveOcean was originally developed to predict the impacts of more acidic seawater on the local shellfish industry, and has support from the state-funded Washington Ocean Acidification Center, a Member Organization of EarthLab, as a tool for local shellfish growers. This will be the first spring that the tool is available for their use.

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