the prediction of the state of elements of the sea at specific times and in specific places, based on the physical or statistical links between a particular element and the factor determining a change in it.
For example, it is possible to predict the extent to which the sea will freeze over; the thickness, quantity, and density of the ice; the contraction and thinning of the pack of ice; and the times of the appearance, clearing, and drifting of ice. Moreover, it is possible to predict the temperature and the time of the cooling or warming of the surface of the sea; the height, length, and period of wind-generated waves; and changes in sea level that will result in an increase or decrease in the depth of navigation channels.
The methods for compiling marine forecasts, which have developed out of studies of the patterns of interaction between the sea and the atmosphere, are based on the methods used in hydrodynamics, probability theory, and synoptic meteorology. Marine forecasts are closely related to weather forecasts and are classified as long-range (more than ten days), moderately long-range (one to ten days), and short-range (a maximum of one day).