High Tech with a Human Touch
Marine and Environmental Systems
Wind/Wave Forecasting (Surfing)
A real-time high-resolution wind-wave coupled near shore forecasts system was developed in conjunction with National Weather Service as part of a NOAA funded CSTAR grant. The atmospheric forcing is provided by a once per day 48 hour wind (10 meter) forecasts from NCEP’s Global Forecast System (GFS) along with NOAA’s Wave Watch 3 (WW3) boundary forcing. The wave model, CMS-WAVE (formerly known as WABED; Wave-Action Balance Equation and Diffraction), is a 2-D wave model designed for shallow water, and contains approximations for both wave diffraction and reflection – making it suitable for conducting wave simulations at coastal inlets.
Originally developed for the Army
The model was originally developed for the U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center (ERDC) and used for coupling with 2 and 3-dimension hydrodynamic models designed for high resolution predictions in coastal waters. We use a single point wind time series (from the GFS) and wave boundary conditions (from WW3) for each of five independent domains. The coupled nearshore wave forecasting system was evaluated for a variety of model forcing options (GFS, NAM, NWS generated GFE, and four configurations of the WRF), WW3 wave forcing. The resulting CMS-Wave forecasts were examined for over 200 48 h forecasts from August 2008 to March 2009. The forecasts, which included 67 ‘wind events’ and one tropical storm, were compared to observations at three buoys located within the study area (41009, 41113, and 41114). Although the project has officially ended, real-time wave forecasts continue to be produced and can be viewed here.