16th Conference on Air-Sea Interaction


The impact of atmospheric model resolution on a coupled wind/wave forecast system

Katherine Howard, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL; and G. Zarillo, M. Splitt, S. Lazarus, S. Chiao, P. Santos, and D. Sharp

An assessment of different atmospheric model configurations for a coupled atmosphere and ocean wave forecast system is presented. Forecasted 10 m winds from different horizontal resolutions of the Weather Research and Forecast - Environmental Modeling System (WRF-EMS) are used to force the Wave-Action Balance Equation with Diffraction (WABED) model. The WABED model is run at 100 m resolution over five individual 50 x 50 km2 subdomains along the east central Florida coast. Each WABED subdomain is forced with a time series of WRF 10 m winds which is constructed by either spatially averaging or sampling a single WRF point within the individual domains. The impact of the averaging on the wave forecasts is also evaluated. The validation includes significant wave height, primary wave direction, and wave period. The forecast wave parameters are compared to buoy observations within the wave subdomains to determine an optimal configuration for a real-time regional forecast system. The system is slated for eventual implementation at the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast Offices in Melbourne and Miami, FL. The intent is to improve the quality of short-term gridded wave forecasts within the NWS marine area of responsibility. Taking advantage of the higher resolution, the system will foster the creation of enhanced, value-added products. The detailed information will help coastal forecast offices meet the increasing demands of a growing marine industry and boating community with respect to hazardous conditions. Improved wave forecasts will also support site-specific near-shore marine incidents involving hazardous materials.

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wrf recording  Recorded presentation

Session 9, Sea-Surface Physics, Including Waves, Whitecaps, and Aerosol Generation: Part 2
Wednesday, 14 January 2009, 10:30 AM-12:00 PM, Room 128A

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