Improvement of Wind Data Quality For Extremem Wave Generation Over the Northern Gulf of Mexico

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Marine Science


Ocean Science and Engineering


Forecast of strong winds and high waves during extreme tropical storms is an essential prerequisite for all marine activities over the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGoM); including safe navigation, construction and maintenance of coastal infrastructure, understanding of coastal and estuarine morphodynamics for coastal zone management, operation of fishery related and shellfish industries and marine eco-system preservation. This study aims to evaluate sensitivity of wave dynamics in wave model over the NGoM as affected by different wind forcings, using Weather Research Forecasting (WRF) meso-scale model and other wind products to improve the wind representation and consequently, the accuracy of estimated wave characteristics. To this end, the Simulating WAve Nearshore (SWAN) wave model is adopted to simulate wave generation and transformation over the entire GoM, with a focus on NGoM. A detailed SWAN sensitivity analysis is carried out to determine optimal model configuration. Primary model verification was considered against selected data to evaluate the sufficiency of available input wind data from different sources, as well as wave model performance. Necessary improvements were implemented to the input wind data conducting wind modeling to improve the wave model results. Analysis of the statistical parameters shows the improvements due to the adopted wind modeling approach for accurate wave modeling in the study area during tropical storm events.

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