Ocean-Ice prediction systems maximize the information value of scarce in-situ ocean and ice observations. They provide assessed and forecast ocean and ice conditions that combine satellite observations and in-situ observations along with ocean and ice physics. Such information supports many applications and marine operations including navigation in open and ice covered waters, search and rescue drift prediction and oil spill drift prediction (with and without ice cover). Additional benefits include more accurate weather predictions through coupling of prediction systems and better oceanographic information support for marine resources and marine life applications.

With decreasing ice coverage and increased navigation activity in the Arctic, the availability of operational ocean and ice predictions are important for ensuring safety of marine operations as well as timely responses to marine emergencies. We review the validation methodology of ocean ice prediction systems for the Canadian North under the Canadian Operational Network of Environmental PredicTion System (CONCEPTS) activities. CONCEPTS is an MOU governing an ocean, ice and atmospheric prediction collaboration of three government departments: National Defense, Environment and Climate Change Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Validation metrics include comparisons of ice and ocean forecast parameters against satellite (AMSRE Radiometry, Cryosat Altimetry) and in-situ observations from ships, moorings and autonomous floats. Forecast performance for the years 2015 and 2016 are presented herein.

The overall goal is to estimate forecast reliability through development of vetted procedures for providing performance statistics against observations, both in real time and delayed mode for the Canadian CONCEPTS Ocean Ice Prediction systems. The approach is part of the GODAE Ocean View international collaboration network in Operational Oceanography for comparing ocean ice predictions against observations. Ultimately we aim to provide a framework by which participating ocean operators can provide in-situ observations from their assets (ships, rigs, ice camps, etc.) and receive performance stats (year in review, month in review) of ocean and ice prediction systems against the observations they provide.

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