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EMC Operational Wave Models


Due to limited computational resources through Friday Sep 17, the GFS-Wave website graphics will be very slow to update until next week. We apologize for the delay.

Operationally generated graphics of the wave fields (no spectra or source terms) are available from
Model Analyses and Guidance.

Bulletin files are available from the Production FTP server.
Look for gfs.YYYYMMDD/CC/wave/station/bulls.tCCz/gfswave.stationID.bull
NCEP/EMC is seeking public commentary on the GFS-Wave website and its contents, which will help decide if this site will continue to be supported. We would very much appreciate your input. This form will close on September 30th, 2021.
Link to Comment Form
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Here you can find links to model forecast data as well as images generated from the EMC suite of operational wave models. These models are based on the 3rd generation wave model WAVEWATCH III® using operational NCEP products as input.


Disclaimer

While GFS-Wave, GEFS-Wave, Great Lakes Wave, and the NWPS are operational models, this is not a 24/7 supported operational server and we cannot guarantee the timeliness or accuracy of the model data and figures offered on this site.

Please see our disclaimer for more information.

Global Forecast System - Wave

The Global Forecast System (GFS) is a global numerical weather prediction system containing a global computer model and variational analysis run by the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS).

The model is run four times a day: 00Z, 06Z, 12Z, and 18Z. Each run produces forecasts of every hour from the initial time out to 120 hours, and then forecasts at 3-hour intervals out to 384 hours (the animated image viewer only shows data out to 240 hours).

The coupled wave model consists of global and regional nested grids. As background information, a list of selected references and a chronological list of model changes are available. Finally, GFS-Wave buoy validation is available.

Links to images (Animated Image Viewer) (Product Table)
Links to Model Data (FTP) (https) (OpenDAP) (Grib Filter)

* GFS-Wave data is located in gfs.YYYYMMDD/CC/wave (YYYY=year, MM=month, DD=day, CC=cycle (00,06,12,18 Z)

Global Ensemble Forecast System - Wave

The Global Ensemble Forecast System - Wave (GEFS-Wave) is a one-way coupling of the GEFS atmospheric model with the WAVEWATCH III wave model. This allows for an increase in frequency of the wind forcing from 3 hours to 1 hour. This unified system has 30 members and the wave model is initialized with the previous member's 6 hour forecast. The wave model has a spatial resolution of 0.25 x 0.25 degrees. The system runs four cycles per day (00, 06, 12 and 18Z). The wave forecast has been extended from 10 to 16 days.

More information on the GEFS system is available here.

Link to images (Image Viewer)
Links to Model Data (FTP) (https) (Grib Filter)

* GEFS-Wave data is located in gefs.YYYYMMDD/CC/wave (YYYY=year, MM=month, DD=day, CC=cycle (00,06,12,18 Z)

Great Lakes Wave

The Great Lakes wave model consists of a single unstructured grid. As background information, a list of selected references and a chronological list of model changes are available.

The model is run four times a day: 00Z, 06Z, 12Z, and 18Z. Each run starts with 9-, 6- and 3-hour hindcasts and produces forecasts of every 3 hours from the initial time out to 84 hours.

Links to images (Animated Image Viewer) (Product Table)
Links to Model Data (FTP) (https) (OpenDAP) (Grib Filter)

* Great Lakes Wave data is located in glwu.YYYYMMDD/CC/wave (YYYY=year, MM=month, DD=day, CC=cycle (00,06,12,18 Z)

Hindcast and Reanalysis Archives

There are two classes of WAVEWATCH III® hindcasts.

  • A thirty-year hindcast generated from the NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis and Reforecast (CFSRR) homogeneous dataset of hourly high-resolution winds. The time period covers from 1979 through 2009. This is a true hindcast generated with a single version of the model and a statistically consistent forcing wind field, and is suitable for use in climate studies.
  • A data set produced by rerunning the model from the operational wind fields to produce best-estimate nowcast datasets for the period Feb 2005 through May 2019. This is a statistically inhomogeneous hindcast data set, because the underlying models are periodically updated. Therefore this data set should not be used for climate studies.

Detailed descriptions of the hindcasts and reanalyses, with links to the datasets, validation statistics from buoy match-ups, and visualizations of the model data fields, can be found in the archive.

Link to Hindcast Archive

Nearshore Wave Prediction System

The Nearshore Wave Prediction System (NWPS) provides on-demand, high-resolution nearshore wave model guidance to U.S. coastal WFOs, triggered in real time by forecast wind grids prepared and submitted by the individual offices. NWPS is maintained and developed by NCEP's Environmental Modeling Center (EMC) in collaboration with a number of Weather Forecast Offices (WFOs), as well as partners at NOAA/NOS, USGS and USACE.

Link to NWPS


WAVEWATCH III® Model Description and GitHub Repository

We have moved to an open development paradigm using GitHub, which means users and developers are no longer required to submit requests for usernames and passwords to access our software package.

The WAVEWATCH III® project page is here.

The latest release is available as a compressed tarball or zipfile from the project page.

To help users and developers navigate the new repositories, we have created two sets of guidelines in GitHub to help you navigate our community modeling framework, one for users and the other for developers:

  • If you are a user and would like to access the code for applications and do not plan to engage in development work, see the User Guide.

  • If you are a developer and would like to add a new feature to the code, see the Developer Guide.

The WW3 GitHub wiki hosts a description of the model, its main features, output options, user and developer guides, technical documentation and latest news.


WAVEWATCH III® Tutorials

Two COMET modules are available regarding WAVEWATCH III® and analysis of ocean swell:

Registration is required, but there is no cost for the courses.