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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

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doi:10.5194/os-2016-51
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
28 Jun 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Ocean Science (OS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
An atmosphere-wave regional coupled model: improving predictions of wave heights and surface winds in the Southern North Sea
Kathrin Wahle1, Joanna Staneva1, Wolfgang Koch1, Luciana Fenoglio-Marc2, Ha T. M. Ho-Hagemann1, and Emil V. Stanev1 1Institute of Coastal Research, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Germany
2Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn, Germany
Abstract. Reduction of wave forecasting errors is a challenge especially in dynamically complicated coastal ocean areas as the southern part of the North Sea area – the German Bight. Coupling of different models is a favoured approach to address this issue as it accounts for the complex interactions of waves, currents and the atmosphere. Here we study the effects of coupling between an atmospheric model and a wind wave model, which in the present study is enabled through an introduction of wave induced drag in the atmosphere model. This, on one side, leads to a reduction of the surface wind speeds, and on the other side, to a reduction of simulated wave heights. The sensitivity of atmospheric parameters such as wind speed, and atmospheric pressure to wave-induced drag, in particular under storm conditions, is studied. Additionally, the impact of the two-way coupling on wave model performance is investigated. The performance of the coupled model system has been demonstrated for extreme events and calm conditions. The results revealed that the effect of coupling results in significant changes in both wind and waves. The simulations are compared to data from in-situ and satellite observations. The results indicate that the two-way coupling improves the agreement between observations and simulations for both wind and wave parameters in comparison to the one-way coupled model. In addition, the errors of the high-resolution German Bight wave model compared to the observations have been significantly reduced in the coupled model. The improved skills resulting from the proposed method justifies its implementations for both operational and climate simulations.

Citation: Wahle, K., Staneva, J., Koch, W., Fenoglio-Marc, L., Ho-Hagemann, H. T. M., and Stanev, E. V.: An atmosphere-wave regional coupled model: improving predictions of wave heights and surface winds in the Southern North Sea, Ocean Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/os-2016-51, in review, 2016.
Kathrin Wahle et al.
Kathrin Wahle et al.

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Short summary
Reduction of wave forecasting errors is a challenge especially in dynamically complicated coastal ocean areas as the southern part of the North Sea area. We study the effects of coupling between an atmospheric and a wind wave model. This leads to a reduction of both the surface wind speeds and wave heights and improves the agreement between observations and simulations. The improved skills resulting from the proposed method justifies its implementations for operational and climate studies.
Reduction of wave forecasting errors is a challenge especially in dynamically complicated...
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