Sensitivity of the Wave Field to High Time-Space Resolution Winds during a Tropical Cyclone

Type Article
Date 2023-03
Language English
Author(s) Pérez-Sampablo LauraORCID1, Osuna PedroORCID1, Esquivel-Trava BernardoORCID1, Rascle NicolasORCID1, 2, Ocampo-Torres Francisco J.ORCID3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Departamento de Oceanografía Física, Centro de Investigación Científica y de Educación Superior de Ensenada (CICESE), Ensenada 22860, Mexico
2 : Laboratoire d’Océanographie Physique et Spatiale, IFREMER, CNRS, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, F29280 Brest, France
3 : CEMIE-Océano, C.U., Coyoacán, Mexico City 04510, Mexico
Source Oceans-switzerland (2673-1924) (MDPI AG), 2023-03 , Vol. 4 , N. 1 , P. 92-113
DOI 10.3390/oceans4010008
Keyword(s) wave field during tropical cyclone, spatio-temporal variability of wind field, HWRF model, WaveWatch III wave model

The impact of the high space-temporal variability of the wind field during the moderate and intense storm stages of a tropical cyclone on the wave field as computed by the numerical model WaveWatch III is investigated in this work. The realistic wind fields are generated by a high-resolution implementation of the HWRF model in the Gulf of Mexico and stored over 15 min intervals. The spatial structure of the wind field computed by HWRF is highly variable in space and time, although its mean structure is very similar to that described for parametric hurricanes already specified in the previous studies. The resulting storm-generated wave fields have a persistent structure, with wave maxima present in the forward quadrants of the storm and in the rear quadrant II. This structure is determined by the strong winds and the extended fetch condition in quadrants I and II, as well as by the translation speed of the storm. When a shorter time interval is analyzed (e.g., a 3 h period, when the storm becomes a category 1 hurricane), the structure of the mean wind field may differ greatly from the mean field calculated with a sufficiently longer period; however, the spatial distribution of the wave field around the hurricane tends to maintain its typical spatial structure. The use of wind fields with reduced time variability (e.g., with a 3 h moving average) does not change the structure of the mean wave field, but reduces the mean wave height values by up to 10%.

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