New models developed by researchers to provide 7.5 days of wave predictions

Jul 31, 2013
New models developed by researchers to provide 7.5 days of wave predictions
Map of Mariana Islands WW3 surf forecast on PacIOOS Voyager.

Mariners and ocean recreationalists in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands will benefit from new high-resolution wave forecasts offered by the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS). The new forecasts provide 7.5 days of predicted wave height, period and direction—updated twice per day.

"Mariners, harbor masters, safety officers, swimmers and surfers in the Mariana Islands now have access to high-resolution forecasts to help plan their ocean excursions," said PacIOOS Director Heather Kerkering. "Wave forecasts can help improve the efficiency of harbor operations and save time and money. But more importantly, better forecasts can save lives."

The best way to access the wave forecasts is under the "surf forecast" menu item in the PacIOOS Voyager, a free online mapping platform (pacioos.org/voyager ).

The wave forecasts are delivered using the WaveWatch 3 (WW3) and Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) models, both developed by researchers at the University of Hawai'i at M?noa's School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology (SOEST).

The regional WW3 model covers the Mariana Islands from Saipan to Guam at 3 arcmin resolution (approximately 5km). For Guam's nearshore waters and Apra Harbor, Guam, the nested SWAN model provides additional wave forecast detail at 0.3 and 0.03 arcmin resolution, respectively (approximately 500m and 50m). The incorporates real-time validation at two PacIOOS wave buoys off Guam: Ipan (#52200) and Ritidian Point (#52202).

New models developed by researchers to provide 7.5 days of wave predictions
Boundaries of the wave model regions are outlined in yellow.

These models were developed by Kwok Fai Cheung, professor of ocean and resources engineering, and Ning Li, a postdoctoral researcher, both at SOEST. Cheung and Li use global and local wind forcing data from the regional Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model developed by PacIOOS/SOEST researcher Yi-Leng Chen, professor of meteorology. WRF data is also available on the PacIOOS Voyager (under "" menu item).

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