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Authors: Yung Y. Chao and Hendrik L. Tolman MMAB/EMC/NCEP/NWS/NOAA
Title: Performance of NCEP Regional Wave Models in Predicting Peak Sea States during the 2005 North Atlantic Hurricane Season
Additional Bibliographic Information:
MMAB Contribution Number:283
Keywords:Validation of hurricane peak see state prediction
Status:in review
Abstract:Abstract Unprecedented numbers of tropical cyclones occurred in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico in 2005. This provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the performance of two operational regional wave forecasting models at the National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). This study validates model predictions of the tropical cyclone generated maximum significant wave height, simultaneous spectral peak wave period and the time of occurrence against available buoy measurements from the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC). The models used are third-generation operational wave models WNA and NAH. These two models have identical model physics, spatial resolution and domain, with the latter model using specialized hurricane wind forcing. Both models provided consistent estimates of the maximum wave height and period, with error typically less than 20% and 30%, respectively, and timing errors of typically less than 5h. Compared to these random errors, systematic model biases are negligible, with a typical negative model bias of 5%. It appears that higher wave model resolutions are needed to fully utilize the specialized hurricane wind forcing, and it is shown that present routine wave observations are inadequate to accurately validate hurricane wave models.

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Page last modified: Tuesday, 26-Jan-2010 20:37:34 UTC