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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10010001

Extreme Wave Height Events in NW Spain: A Combined Multi-Sensor and Model Approach

1
Puertos del Estado, 28042 Madrid, Spain
2
Meteo-France, 31100 Toulouse, France
3
AEMET (Agencia Española de Meteorología), 28071 Madrid, Spain
4
CETMAR (Centro Tecnológico del Mar), 36208 Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain
5
USC (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela), 15782 Santiago de Compostela, La Coruña, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 7 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 21 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar Remote Sensing of Oceans and Coastal Areas)
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Abstract

The Galician coast (NW Spain) is a region that is strongly influenced by the presence of low pressure systems in the mid-Atlantic Ocean and the periodic passage of storms that give rise to severe sea states. Since its wave climate is one of the most energetic in Europe, the objectives of this paper were twofold. The first objective was to characterize the most extreme wave height events in Galicia over the wintertime of a two-year period (2015–2016) by using reliable high-frequency radar wave parameters in concert with predictions from a regional wave (WAV) forecasting system running operationally in the Iberia-Biscay-Ireland (IBI) area, denominatedIBI-WAV. The second objective was to showcase the application of satellite wave altimetry (in particular, remote-sensed three-hourly wave height estimations) for the daily skill assessment of the IBI-WAV model product. Special attention was focused on monitoring Ophelia—one of the major hurricanes on record in the easternmost Atlantic—during its 3-day track over Ireland and the UK (15–17 October 2017). Overall, the results reveal the significant accuracy of IBI-WAV forecasts and prove that a combined observational and modeling approach can provide a comprehensive characterization of severe wave conditions in coastal areas and shows the benefits from the complementary nature of both systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: remote sensing; HF radar; altimetry; satellite; waves; forecasting; validation; skill; assessment remote sensing; HF radar; altimetry; satellite; waves; forecasting; validation; skill; assessment
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Lorente, P.; Sotillo, M.G.; Aouf, L.; Amo-Baladrón, A.; Barrera, E.; Dalphinet, A.; Toledano, C.; Rainaud, R.; De Alfonso, M.; Piedracoba, S.; Basañez, A.; García-Valdecasas, J.M.; Pérez-Muñuzuri, V.; Álvarez-Fanjul, E. Extreme Wave Height Events in NW Spain: A Combined Multi-Sensor and Model Approach. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 1.

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