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Numerical simulations and observations of surface wave fields under an extreme tropical cyclone

Journal of Physical Oceanography

By:
, , , , and
DOI: 10.1175/2009JPO4224.1

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Abstract

The performance of the wave model WAVEWATCH III under a very strong, category 5, tropical cyclone wind forcing is investigated with different drag coefficient parameterizations and ocean current inputs. The model results are compared with field observations of the surface wave spectra from an airborne scanning radar altimeter, National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) time series, and satellite altimeter measurements in Hurricane Ivan (2004). The results suggest that the model with the original drag coefficient parameterization tends to overestimate the significant wave height and the dominant wavelength and produces a wave spectrum with narrower directional spreading. When an improved drag parameterization is introduced and the wave-current interaction is included, the model yields an improved forecast of significant wave height, but underestimates the dominant wavelength. When the hurricane moves over a preexisting mesoscale ocean feature, such as the Loop Current in the Gulf of Mexico or a warm-and cold-core ring, the current associated with the feature can accelerate or decelerate the wave propagation and significantly modulate the wave spectrum. ?? 2009 American Meteorological Society.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Numerical simulations and observations of surface wave fields under an extreme tropical cyclone
Series title:
Journal of Physical Oceanography
DOI:
10.1175/2009JPO4224.1
Volume
39
Issue:
9
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Physical Oceanography
First page:
2097
Last page:
2116