Campos, R. and Guedes Soares, C. (2019), “Global assessments of surface winds and waves from an ensemble forecast system suring staeliite data”, Proceedings of the ASME 2019 38th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering (OMAE 2019), 9-14 June, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

The Drake Passage is an ocean area between the South America and Antarctic with very extreme wind and wave climates. The forecast accuracy of surface winds and significant wave heights is analyzed in the present paper, in order to study the behavior and distribution of model uncertainties as a function of: forecast range, severity, location, and numerical model. The operational forecast considered is run twice a day by the Brazilian Navy, and a period of one year (2017) is selected for the assessment. Observations consist of four satellite missions: JASON2, JASON3, CRYOSAT, and SARAL. The numerical atmospheric models with 10-m winds are GFS (Global Forecast System) and ICON (Icosahedral Nonhydrostatic Model). They force wave simulations using the model WAVEWATCH III with a mosaic of two grids. The forecast horizon analyzed is five days, which is made publicly available by the Brazilian Navy. Results show that under calm to moderate conditions, within the first two days of forecast, the wind and wave model skill is very high. However, above the 90th percentile and beyond the third forecast day, the predictability drops significantly. It highlights specific contours of forecast range versus percentiles where the wind and wave modelers should focus, in order to anticipate and to improve the predictability of extreme events at the Drake Passage.

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