NOAA Global Extratropical Surge and Tide Operational Forecast System (Global ESTOFS)

climate coastal disaster response environmental global meteorological oceans sustainability water weather


NOAA's Global Extratropical Surge and Tide Operational Forecast System (Global ESTOFS) provides users with nowcasts (analyses of near present conditions) and forecast guidance of water level conditions for the entire globe. Global ESTOFS has been developed to serve the marine navigation, weather forecasting, and disaster mitigation user communities. Global ESTOFS was developed in a collaborative effort between the NOAA/National Ocean Service (NOS)/Office of Coast Survey, the NOAA/National Weather Service (NWS)/National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Central Operations (NCO), the University of Notre Dame, the University of North Carolina, and The Water Institute of the Gulf. The model generates forecasts out to 180 hours four times per day; forecast output includes water levels caused by the combined effects of storm surge and tides, by astronomical tides alone, and by sub-tidal water levels (isolated storm surge).

The hydrodynamic model employed by Global ESTOFS is the ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) finite element model. The model is forced by GFS winds, mean sea level pressure, and sea ice. The unstructured grid used by Global ESTOFS consists of 8,063,409 nodes and 15,478,900 triangular elements. Coastal resolution is up to 80 m for Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast; up to 90-120 m for the Pacific Islands including Guam, American Samoa, Marianas, Wake Island, Marshall Islands, and Palau; and up to 120 m for the U.S. East Coast, Puerto Rico, Micronesia, and Alaska. The flood plain extends overland to approximately 6 m elevation ASL for the U.S. East Coast, and up to 20 m elevation ASL for the Pacific Islands. Global ESTOFS a) reduces bias and errors due to the removal of the open ocean boundaries that were included in previous ESTOFS regional domains (ESTOFS-Atlantic, -Pacific, -Micronesia); b) includes internal tide-induced dissipation in the deep ocean; c) includes sea ice effect on wind drag, and d) incorporates a bias correction using 2-day average water level observations from CO-OPS tide stations that are interpolated spatially across the Global ESTOFS mesh.

Global ESTOFS water level forecast guidance output available here include NetCDF, GRIB2, and SHEF files. Please see README documentation for more details.

Update Frequency

Four times per day, every 6 hours starting at midnight UTC


Open Data. There are no restrictions on the use of this data.


Managed By

See all datasets managed by NOAA.


For questions regarding data content or quality, visit the ESTOFS site (
For any questions regarding data delivery not associated with this platform or any general questions regarding the NOAA Big Data Program, email
We also seek to identify case studies on how NOAA data is being used and will be featuring those stories in joint publications and in upcoming events. If you are interested in seeing your story highlighted, please share it with the NOAA BDP team here:

Resources on AWS

  • Description
    NOAA Global ESTOFS Water Level Forecast Guidance
    Resource type
    S3 Bucket
    Amazon Resource Name (ARN)
    AWS Region
    AWS CLI Access (No AWS account required)
    aws s3 ls s3://noaa-gestofs-pds/ --no-sign-request
    Browse Bucket
  • Description
    NOAA Global ESTOFS Water Level Forecast Guidance New Dataset Notification
    Resource type
    SNS Topic
    Amazon Resource Name (ARN)
    AWS Region

Edit this dataset entry on GitHub