Wave forecast model upgrades

Wave model performance improved by an average of 20% as a result of the new physics (RMSE: root mean square error; the smaller the RMSE the better the model performs. In the bottom figure, red denotes positive percentage improvement). 

Wave model performance improved by an average of 20% as a result of the new physics (RMSE: root mean square error; the smaller the RMSE the better the model performs. In the bottom figure, red denotes positive percentage improvement). 

At MetOcean Solutions, we continuously improve our models to ensure the highest possible performance.

To that end, we recently upgraded the physics in our in-house global and regional wave models.

“Our wave forecasts and services rely on sophisticated open-source atmospheric and wave models,” states Dr Tom Durrant who manages MetOcean Solutions’ wave models. “A global community of scientists are working on these models. As a result, the models are constantly evolving, both in terms of our understanding of the underlying physics and the representation of these physics in the models. At MetOcean Solutions, we strive to maintain our models with the current state-of-the-art science, and the recent upgrade brings us in line with the world’s leading edge practices.”  

“The result is a great improvement in the physical representation of wave generation and dissipation within our global wave models. As the global models provide boundary conditions for all MetOcean Solutions’ coastal models, the changes produce improvements throughout the wave modelling system at all scales,” he adds.

The resulting improvements are shown in the figure above. Using satellite observations to quantify these gains, the figure shows the root-mean-square-error of wave height (i.e. model performance) relative to satellite observations for a) the previous system; b) the upgraded system; with c) indicating the percentage improvement. Clear gains are apparent, with an approximate 20% improvement in model skill demonstrated overall.