A Review of U.S. Navy Atmospheric Model Products in the Arabian Gulf - An Examination of NORAPS and COAMPS
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS OCEAN DYNAMICS AND PREDICTION BRANCH
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Recent U.S. Navy operational atmospheric products, the Navy Operational Regional Atmospheric Prediction System NORAPS and the Coupled OceanAtmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System COAMPS, are reviewed relative to the Arabian Gulf waters. Only the most recent complete calendar years of each product are considered. The structure and description of five products air temperature, heat flux, surface pressure. wind speed, and wind stress relevant to the Naval Research Laboratorys coastal modeling efforts for the Arabian Gulf are explained. A detailed discussion of the dynamics and variability observed in the annual and seasonal mean fields is presented. Within this context, the NORAPS and COAMPS products are contrasted. Observations for each of the five atmospheric quantities have been identified in the literature. RMS errors and correlations are computed from comparisons between the Navy atmospheric basin-wide mean products and the observed data. These comparisons provide an avenue to assess the quality of the atmospheric data products with respect to the observed environment. Good agreement between the atmospheric data products and the open literature is found for scalar quantities such as air temperature and surface pressure. Wind speeds and wind stresses tend to be underpredicted with respect to the Winter Shamal though no definitive conclusions can be reached about overall quality due to the high degree of variability in the observed wind sources. On the contrary, heat flux products are determined to be quite poor, at least over Arabian Gulf waters when compared to available observations. Lastly, the preprocessing of the atmospheric products prior to implementation in an oceanic modeling context is included as an appendix.