P2.33 Validating the ocean model component of coupled hurricane-ocean models

Thursday, 13 May 2010
Arizona Ballroom 7 (JW MArriott Starr Pass Resort)
Richard M. Yablonsky, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI; and I. Ginis, B. Thomas, J. J. Cione, G. R. Halliwell Jr., E. W. Uhlhorn, H. S. Kim, C. Lozano, E. P. Chassignet, and H. R. Winterbottom

NOAA uses coupled hurricane-ocean models operationally to forecast tropical cyclone (TC) track, structure, and intensity. As part of the Hurricane Forecasting Improvement Project (HFIP) effort to improve TC forecasts, it is imperative to validate not only the atmospheric component of these models but also the oceanic component so that future coordinated improvements can be made to these coupled model systems. As a result, a partnership among URI/GSO, NOAA/AOML, NOAA/NCEP/EMC, and FSU/COAPS has been instituted to evaluate Princeton Ocean Model (POM) and HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) simulations forced by the observed wind stress from a variety of historical Atlantic TCs. Using the ocean model output, a TC's inner-core sea surface temperature (SST) cooling is compared to an observed climatology that is currently used as a predictive variable in the Statistical Hurricane Intensity Prediction Scheme (SHIPS). Future work, perhaps with additional collaborators, will include analysis of other ocean model variables that may influence SST cooling, such as wind stress and the three-dimensional ocean temperature, salinity, and current velocity fields. These model fields will be verified whenever possible using available in situ ocean observations.
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