Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 6 of 6 items for :

  • Author or Editor: José Alves x
  • Weather and Forecasting x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
Jose-Henrique G. M. Alves, Arun Chawla, Hendrik L. Tolman, David Schwab, Gregory Lang, and Greg Mann

Abstract

The development of a Great Lakes wave forecasting system at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) is described. The system is an implementation of the WAVEWATCH III model, forced with atmospheric data from NCEP’s regional Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model [the North American Mesoscale Model (NAM)] and the National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD). Reviews are made of previous Great Lakes wave modeling efforts. The development history of NCEP’s Great Lakes wave forecasting system is presented. A performance assessment is made of model wind speeds, as well as wave heights and periods, relative to National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) measurements. Performance comparisons are made relative to NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) wave prediction system. Results show that 1- and 2-day forecasts from NCEP have good skill in predicting wave heights and periods. NCEP’s system provides a better representation of measured wave periods, relative to the GLERL model in most conditions. Wave heights during storms, however, are consistently underestimated by NCEP’s current operational system, whereas the GLERL model provides close agreement with observations. Research efforts to develop new wave-growth parameterizations and overcome this limitation have led to upgrades to the WAVEWATCH III model, scheduled to become operational at NCEP in 2013. Results are presented from numerical experiments made with the new wave-model physics, showing significant improvements to the skill of NCEP’s Great Lakes wave forecasting system in predicting storm wave heights.

Full access
Hendrik L. Tolman, Jose-Henrique G. M. Alves, and Yung Y. Chao

Abstract

The accuracy of the operational wave models at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) for sea states generated by Hurricane Isabel is assessed. The western North Atlantic (WNA) and the North Atlantic hurricane (NAH) wave models are validated using analyzed wind fields, and wave observations from the Jason-1 altimeter and from 15 moored buoys. Both models provided excellent guidance for Isabel in the days preceding landfall of the hurricane along the east coast of the United States. However, the NAH model outperforms the WNA model in the initial stages of Isabel, when she was a category 5 hurricane. The NAH model was also more accurate in providing guidance for the swell systems arriving at the U.S. coast well before landfall of Isabel. Although major model deficiencies can be attributed to shortcomings in the driving wind fields, several areas of potential wave model improvement have been identified.

Full access
Yung Y. Chao, Jose-Henrique G. M. Alves, and Hendrik L. Tolman

Abstract

A new wind–wave prediction model, referred to as the North Atlantic hurricane (NAH) wave model, has been developed at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) to produce forecasts of hurricane-generated waves during the Atlantic hurricane season. A detailed description of this model and a comparison of its performance against the operational western North Atlantic (WNA) wave model during Hurricanes Isidore and Lili, in 2002, are presented. The NAH and WNA models are identical in their physics and numerics. The NAH model uses a wind field obtained by blending data from NCEP’s operational Global Forecast System (GFS) with those from a higher-resolution hurricane prediction model, whereas the WNA wave model uses winds provided exclusively by the GFS. Relative biases of the order of 10% in the prediction of maximum wave heights up to 48 h in advance, indicate that the use of higher-resolution winds in the NAH model provides a successful framework for predicting extreme sea states generated by a hurricane. Consequently, the NAH model has been made operational at NCEP for use during the Atlantic hurricane season.

Full access
Ricardo Martins Campos, Jose-Henrique G. M. Alves, Stephen G. Penny, and Vladimir Krasnopolsky

Abstract

The error characteristics of surface waves and winds produced by ensemble forecasts issued by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction are analyzed as a function of forecast range and severity. Eight error metrics are compared, separating the scatter component of the error from the systematic bias. Ensemble forecasts of extreme winds and extreme waves are compared to deterministic forecasts for long lead times, up to 10 days. A total of 29 metocean buoys is used to assess 1 year of forecasts (2016). The Global Wave Ensemble Forecast System (GWES) performs 10-day forecasts four times per day, with a spatial resolution of 0.5° and a temporal resolution of 3 h, using a 20-member ensemble plus a control member (deterministic) forecast. The largest errors in GWES, beyond forecast day 3, are found to be associated with winds above 14 m s−1 and waves above 5 m. Extreme percentiles after the day-8 forecast reach 30% of underestimation for both 10-m-height wind (U10) and significant wave height (Hs). The comparison of probabilistic wave forecasts with deterministic runs shows an impressive improvement of predictability on the scatter component of the errors. The error for surface winds drops from 5 m s−1 in the deterministic runs, associated with extreme events at longer forecast ranges, to values around 3 m s−1 using the ensemble approach. As a result, GWES waves are better predicted, with a reduction in error from 2 m to less than 1.5 m for Hs. Nevertheless, under extreme conditions, critical systematic and scatter errors are identified beyond the day-6 and day-3 forecasts, respectively.

Full access
Natacha B. Bernier, Jose-Henrique G. M. Alves, Hendrik Tolman, Arun Chawla, Syd Peel, Benoit Pouliot, Jean-Marc Bélanger, Pierre Pellerin, Mario Lépine, and Michel Roch

Abstract

A global deterministic wave prediction system (GDWPS) is used to improve regional forecasts of waves off the Canadian coastline and help support the practice of safe marine activities in Canadian waters. The wave model has a grid spacing of ¼° with spectral resolution of 36 frequency bins and 36 directional bins. The wave model is driven with hourly 10-m winds generated by the operational global atmospheric prediction system. Ice conditions are updated every three hours using the ice concentration forecasts generated by the Global Ice–Ocean Prediction System. Wave forecasts are evaluated over two periods from 15 August to 31 October 2014 and from 15 December 2014 to 28 February 2015, as well as over select cases during the fall of 2012. The global system is shown to improve wave forecast skill over regions where forecasts were previously produced using limited-area models only. The usefulness of a global expansion is demonstrated for large swell events affecting the northeast Pacific. The first validation of a Canadian operational wave forecast system in the Arctic is presented. Improvements in the representation of forecast wave fields associated with tropical cyclones are also demonstrated. Finally, the GDWPS is shown to result in gains of at least 12 h of lead time.

Full access
Arun Chawla, Hendrik L. Tolman, Vera Gerald, Deanna Spindler, Todd Spindler, Jose-Henrique G. M. Alves, Degui Cao, Jeffrey L. Hanson, and Eve-Marie Devaliere

Abstract

A new operational wave forecasting system has been implemented at the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) using the third public release of WAVEWATCH III. The new system uses a mosaic of grids with two-way nesting in a single model. This global system replaces a previous operational wave modeling suite (based on the second release of WAVEWATCH III). The new forecast system consists of nine grids at different resolutions to provide the National Weather Service (NWS) and NCEP centers with model guidance of suitable resolution for all areas where they have the responsibility of providing gridded forecast products. New features introduced in WAVEWATCH III, such as two-way nesting between grids and carving out selected areas of the computational domain, have allowed the operational model to increase spatial resolution and extend the global domain closer to the North Pole, while at the same time optimizing the computational cost. A spectral partitioning algorithm has been implemented to separate individual sea states from the overall spectrum, thus providing additional products for multiple sea states. Field output data are now packed in version 2 of the gridded binary (GRIB2) format and apart from the standard mean wave parameters, they also include parameters of partitioned wave spectra. The partitioning is currently limited to three fields: the wind-wave component, and primary and secondary swells. The modeling system has been validated against data using a multiyear hindcast database as well as archived forecasts. A new software tool developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is used to extend the analysis from overall error estimates to separate skill scores for wind seas and swells.

Full access