An Evaluation of a High-Resolution Operational Wave Forecasting System in the Adriatic Sea
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB STENNIS SPACE CENTER MS OCEANOGRAPHY DIV
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The SWAN Simulating Waves Nearshore wave model using wind inputs generated by the ALADIN 8-km, operational high-resolution, atmospheric model was run in real-time to provide surface waves forecast for the semi-enclosed Adriatic Sea in support of the Dynamics of the Adriatic in Real-Time DART field experiments. Together with predictions from other wave and wind models, the successful prediction of a high sea-state event by this model led to a real-time shifting of planned operations while at sea, allowing five ADCP moorings to be deployed just before a bora storm and associated storm waves arrived. The model was also able to simulate the spatial gradients in significant wave height observed by in-situ and remote-sensing measurements for a particular sirocco storm case study, providing an additional perspective in aiding interpretation of the model output of features. To further quantify prediction skill, the wave forecast performance over a 12-month period was evaluated against in-situ and altimeter measurements over the region. Correlation coefficients between forecast and in-situ measured significant wave heights were from 0.82 to 0.91 for the 24-h forecast and from 0.78 to 0.88 for the 48-h forecast. However, best-fit slope comparisons with in-situ wave data at five coastal locations show the forecast wave heights were underpredicted by 10 to 30. Best-fit slope comparisons between modeled wind speeds, U10, and significant wave heights. Hs and altimeter-derived measurements show that model U10 was about 4 underpredicted, but Hs, was underpredicted by an average of 30. The underprediction of SWAN Hs has a very significant location-dependent geographical variation ranging from 10 to over 50.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography