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Article

Performance Assessments of Hurricane Wave Hindcasts

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Coastal Observing R&D Center, Marine Physical Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, CA 92093-0213, USA
2
Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center, Duck, NC 27949, USA
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Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS 39180, USA
4
Coastal Data Information Program, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, CA 92037, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eugen Rusu
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9(7), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9070690
Received: 20 May 2021 / Revised: 18 June 2021 / Accepted: 20 June 2021 / Published: 24 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Waves)
Landfalling tropical cyclones (TC) generate extreme waves, introducing significant property, personal, and financial risks and damage. Accurate simulations of the sea state during these storms are used to support risk and damage assessments and the design of coastal structures. However, the TCs generate a complex surface gravity wave field as a result of the inherently strong temporal and spatial gradients of the wind forcing. This complexity is a significant challenge to model. To advance our understanding of the performance of these models on the eastern seaboard of the United States, we conduct an assessment of four hindcast products, three based on WAVEWATCH-III and the other using the Wave Modeling project, for six major landfall TCs between 2011–2019. Unique to our assessment was a comprehensive analysis of these hindcast products against an array of fixed wave buoys that generate high quality data. The analysis reveals a general tendency for the wave models to underestimate significant wave height (Hs) around the peak of the TC. However, when viewed on an individual TC basis, distinct Hs error patterns are evident. Case studies of hurricanes Sandy and Florence illustrate complex Hs bias patterns, likely resulting from various mechanisms including insufficient resolution, improper wind input and source term parameterization (e.g., drag coefficient), and omission of wave–current interactions. Despite the added challenges of simulating complex wave fields in shallow coastal waters, the higher resolution Wave Information Study and National Centers for Environmental Prediction (ST4 parameterization only) hindcasts perform relatively well. Results from this study illustrate the challenge of simulating the spatial and temporal variability of TC generated wave fields and demonstrate the value of in-situ validation data such as the north Atlantic buoy array. View Full-Text
Keywords: tropical cyclones; hurricanes; extreme waves; wave model hindcasts; observational networks; wave buoys tropical cyclones; hurricanes; extreme waves; wave model hindcasts; observational networks; wave buoys
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rogowski, P.; Merrifield, S.; Collins, C.; Hesser, T.; Ho, A.; Bucciarelli, R.; Behrens, J.; Terrill, E. Performance Assessments of Hurricane Wave Hindcasts. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2021, 9, 690. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9070690

AMA Style

Rogowski P, Merrifield S, Collins C, Hesser T, Ho A, Bucciarelli R, Behrens J, Terrill E. Performance Assessments of Hurricane Wave Hindcasts. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2021; 9(7):690. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9070690

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rogowski, Peter, Sophia Merrifield, Clarence Collins, Tyler Hesser, Allison Ho, Randy Bucciarelli, James Behrens, and Eric Terrill. 2021. "Performance Assessments of Hurricane Wave Hindcasts" Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 9, no. 7: 690. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse9070690

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