Summary of Working Paper No. 10-1995

I.6.1: Operational Tools.

Summary by supervisor Dr. Zalman Gudkovic, the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Russia

The submitted report presents an overview of the methods of meteorological, oceanographic and ice forecasting (for general as well as specialized purposes) at different periods in advance which are used for the scientific-operational support of navigation along the NSR. The basis of the different methods has been considered, initial and current information used is listed, the forms of forecast presentation and evaluation of the quality of methods are described.

Moreover, the report is not confined to the traditional methods that have been in use for many years, but includes some alternative methods which require careful verification and further improvement.

On the whole, the materials considered provide an understanding of the scientific-operational system for support of shipping along the NSR which has been in process of formation over a period of many years. It helps to plan quite effectively cargo flows, distribution of transport means and icebreakers, beginning at the preliminary planning stage, and gradually making the information more detailed as the approach of the dates of the specific operations comes closer.

Thus long-range forecasts provide information about the expected background of ice conditions along the main segments of the route. Medium-range forecasts indicate any change in weather conditions and ice distribution during the navigation and help to work out the recommendations for the dates of the beginning and end of voyages in local regions. The forecasts of expected meteorological, oceanographic and ice conditions 1 - 10 days in advance during specific operations assist navigators in selecting an optimal variant of the route, determine the motion speed of ships and convoys along each of its segments.

The report also outlines main directions for improving each of the links of the prognostic system.

The report has been reviewed by Dr. Torgny Vinje (Norwegian Polar Institute, Oslo) and will soon be published as an INSROP Working Paper.