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Verification of the ECMWF Wave Forecasting System against Buoy and Altimeter Data

Verification of the ECMWF Wave Forecasting System against Buoy and Altimeter Data The present status of ocean wave modeling at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is reviewed. Ocean waves are forecasted globally up to 10 days by means of the Wave Model (WAM), which is driven by 10-m winds from the ECMWF atmospheric model. Initial conditions are provided by assimilation of ERS-1 data into the first-guess wave field. The analyzed wave height and peak period field are verified against buoy data and show a considerable improvement compared to verification results of a decade ago. This is confirmed by a comparison of first-guess wave height against ERS-1 altimeter data. The main reasons for this improvement are (i) the higher quality of ECMWF winds compared to a decade ago, (ii) the improved physics of the WAM model, and (iii) the assimilation of ERS-1 data. The forecast skill of the ECMWF wave forecasting system is also studied by comparing forecasts with buoy data and verifying analysis. Error growth in forecast wave height is less rapid than in forecast wind speed. However, considerable positive mean errors in forecast wave height are found, suggesting a too active atmospheric model in later stages of the forecast. Nevertheless, judging from anomaly correlation scores, the wave forecast seems to be useful up to day 5 in the forecast in the Northern Hemisphere. Since the wave forecast depends in a sensitive manner on the wind forecast, this confirms the high quality of ECMWF forecasts near the surface. Finally, promising ways of improving the wave forecast are also discussed, and, as an example, the positive impact three-dimensional variational assimilation in the atmospheric model has on the wave product is also mentioned. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Weather and Forecasting American Meteorological Society

Verification of the ECMWF Wave Forecasting System against Buoy and Altimeter Data

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © 1996 American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0434
DOI
10.1175/1520-0434(1997)012<0763:VOTEWF>2.0.CO;2
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The present status of ocean wave modeling at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is reviewed. Ocean waves are forecasted globally up to 10 days by means of the Wave Model (WAM), which is driven by 10-m winds from the ECMWF atmospheric model. Initial conditions are provided by assimilation of ERS-1 data into the first-guess wave field. The analyzed wave height and peak period field are verified against buoy data and show a considerable improvement compared to verification results of a decade ago. This is confirmed by a comparison of first-guess wave height against ERS-1 altimeter data. The main reasons for this improvement are (i) the higher quality of ECMWF winds compared to a decade ago, (ii) the improved physics of the WAM model, and (iii) the assimilation of ERS-1 data. The forecast skill of the ECMWF wave forecasting system is also studied by comparing forecasts with buoy data and verifying analysis. Error growth in forecast wave height is less rapid than in forecast wind speed. However, considerable positive mean errors in forecast wave height are found, suggesting a too active atmospheric model in later stages of the forecast. Nevertheless, judging from anomaly correlation scores, the wave forecast seems to be useful up to day 5 in the forecast in the Northern Hemisphere. Since the wave forecast depends in a sensitive manner on the wind forecast, this confirms the high quality of ECMWF forecasts near the surface. Finally, promising ways of improving the wave forecast are also discussed, and, as an example, the positive impact three-dimensional variational assimilation in the atmospheric model has on the wave product is also mentioned.

Journal

Weather and ForecastingAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Jun 28, 1996

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