Forecasting estuarine circulation is a hot topic, especially in densely populated regions, like Santos (Brazil). This paper aims to improve a water-level forecasting system for the Santos estuary, particularly the physical forcing determining the residual tide, which in extreme cases increase the predicting errors. The MOHID hydrodynamic model was implemented with a nested downscaling approach. All automatic procedures to provide a high-resolution real-time forecast system are managed by the AQUASAFE software. Water-level observation and prediction datasets (2016–2017) of five tide gauges in the Santos channel were analyzed, resulting in distinct model configurations, aiming to minimize forecasting inaccuracies. Current MOHID open boundary reference solutions were modified: the astronomical solution was updated from FES2012 to FES2014 whereas the meteorological component (Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) global solution) time resolution was altered from daily to hourly data. Furthermore, the correlation between significant wave height with positive residual tide events was identified. The model validation presented a minimum Root Mean Square Error (RMSE
) of 12.5 cm. Despite FES2014 solution improvements at the bay entrance, errors increase in inner stations were maintained, portraying the need for better bathymetric data. The use of a CMEMS hourly resolution decreased the meteorological tide errors. A linear regression method was developed to correct the residual tide through post-processing, under specific wave height conditions. Overall, the newest implementation increased the water-level forecast accuracy, particularly under extreme events.
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