J3.1 Operational Wave Modelling and Forecasting in Australia

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 8:30 AM
Conference Center: Chelan 4 (Washington State Convention Center )
Aihong Zhong, BoM, Docklands, Australia

Operational wave modelling and forecasting in Australia

A. Zhong, Neal Moodie, Stefan Zieger and Diana Greenslade


Bureau of Meteorology, Docklands, VIC 3008, Australia

The Bureau of Meteorology is Australia’s national agency responsible for warning mariners, industry and the community of dangerous or damaging waves affecting people and structures along the Australian coastline and high seas.  The Bureau’s warning services to the community rely on wave modelling capabilities that range in scale from the open ocean down to the coastal zone. 

The Australian wave model (AUSWAVE), based on the third-generation wind wave modelling framework WAVEWATCH III® (WW3) model has been the operational sea-state model run by the Bureau National Operations Centre since August 2010. The AUSWAVE system is forced by the Australian Community Climate and Earth-System Simulator (ACCESS) Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) system.  The operational wave models run at two different domains: global and regional model.

This presentation covers the recent upgrade to the global and regional wave models, which introduced APS2 ACCESS-G & R surface winds, and increased the global wave model spatial resolution from 0.4 degree to 0.25 degree, to match improvements in the resolution of the atmospheric forcing. Most importantly, the wave model source code has been upgraded from WW3 version 3.14 to version 4.18. This included the use of a new physical spectral source term package. The new global and regional systems have superior performance as compared to the previous systems.

This presentation also covers the wave modelling capability developed within the Joint Industry Project for Tropical Cyclone (JIP-TC ) Operationalisation project which aims to provide operational  forecasts specifically for tropical cyclones (TC) affecting the North West shelf of Western Australia. The new operational wave forecast systems include AUSWAVE-TCX: A high resolution version of the Bureau's AUSWAVE model driven by ACCESS-TCX (a specialised TC version of ACCESS); and AUSWAVE-EPS: a 51-member ensemble wave forecast system driven by surface winds from bias-corrected ECMWF ensemble forecasts.

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