Progress in ocean wave forecasting

TitleProgress in ocean wave forecasting
Publication TypeTechnical memorandum
Date Published06/2007
Secondary TitleECMWF Technical Memoranda
AuthorJanssen, PAEM

Progress in ocean wave forecasting is described in the context of the fundamental law for wave prediction: the energy balance equation. The energy balance equation gives the rate of change of the sea state caused by adiabatic processes such as advection, and by the physical source functions of the generation of ocean waves by wind, the dissipation due to whitecapping and the nonlinear four-wave interactions. In this paper we discuss the formulation of the physics source functions and we discuss the numerical scheme that is used to solve the energy balance equation (with special emphasis on the so-called Garden Sprinkler effect). Improvement in ocean wave forecasting skill is illustrated by comparing forecasts results with buoy observations for different years. Finally, the promising new development of the forecasting of extreme events is discussed as well.

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