Modeling North Atlantic nor'easters with modern wave forecast models
Beardsley, Robert C.
Casey, Michael P.
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KeywordModern wave models; Nor'easter storms; Comparisons with buoy and remotely sensed data; WAVEWATCHIII (WW3); SWAN; SWAVE; WWM; Nested grid domains; Unstructured grid domains
Three state-of-the-art operational wave forecast model systems are implemented on fine-resolution grids for the Northwest Atlantic. These models are: (1) a composite model system consisting of SWAN implemented within WAVEWATCHIII® (the latter is hereafter, WW3) on a nested system of traditional structured grids, (2) an unstructured grid finite-volume wave model denoted “SWAVE,” using SWAN physics, and (3) an unstructured grid finite element wind wave model denoted as “WWM” (for “wind wave model”) which uses WW3 physics. Models are implemented on grid systems that include relatively large domains to capture the wave energy generated by the storms, as well as including fine-resolution nearshore regions of the southern Gulf of Maine with resolution on the scale of 25 m to simulate areas where inundation and coastal damage have occurred, due to the storms. Storm cases include three intense midlatitude cases: a spring Nor'easter storm in May 2005, the Patriot's Day storm in 2007, and the Boxing Day storm in 2010. Although these wave model systems have comparable overall properties in terms of their performance and skill, it is found that there are differences. Models that use more advanced physics, as presented in recent versions of WW3, tuned to regional characteristics, as in the Gulf of Maine and the Northwest Atlantic, can give enhanced results.
Author Posting. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2018. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 123 (2018): 533–557, doi:10.1002/2017JC012868.
Suggested CitationJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 123 (2018): 533–557
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