On the improvement of wave and storm surge hindcasts by downscaled atmospheric forcing: application to historical storms

Bresson, Émilie ; Arbogast, Philippe ; Aouf, Lotfi ; Paradis, Denis ; Kortcheva, Anna ; Bogatchev, Andrey ; Galabov, Vasko ; Dimitrova, Marieta ; Morvan, Guillaume ; Ohl, Patrick ; Tsenova, Boryana ; Rabier, Florence

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<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Winds, waves and storm surges can inflict severe damage in coastal areas. In order to improve preparedness for such events, a better understanding of storm-induced coastal flooding episodes is necessary. To this end, this paper highlights the use of atmospheric downscaling techniques in order to improve wave and storm surge hindcasts. The downscaling techniques used here are based on existing European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts reanalyses (ERA-20C, ERA-40 and ERA-Interim). The results show that the 10 km resolution data forcing provided by a downscaled atmospheric model gives a better wave and surge hindcast compared to using data directly from the reanalysis. Furthermore, the analysis of the most extreme mid-latitude cyclones indicates that a four-dimensional blending approach improves the whole process, as it assimilates more small-scale processes in the initial conditions. Our approach has been successfully applied to ERA-20C (the 20th century reanalysis).</p></p>

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