An atmosphere-wave regional coupled model: improving predictions of wave heights and surface winds in the Southern North Sea
AbstractReduction 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 twoway coupling improves the agreement between observations and simulation 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.