The influence of wind on HF radar surface current forecasts
de Almeida, Francisco M. S. C.
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The ability to predict surface currents can have a beneficial impact in several activities such as Search and Rescue and Oil Spill Response, as well as others more purely scientific, operational or economic. The Naval Postgraduate School, in conjunction with the Romberg Tiburon Center and the University of California Santa Barbara, has been studying this purpose for the Coastal Response Research Center, University of New Hampshire and NOAA. So far the prediction was based on tide and persistence of the reminiscent current. Faced with increasing error under changing environmental conditions, further study of other influences became fundamental, in order to increase reliability. This study is a part of that effort by studying the impact of wind-induced currents on forecasting. Based on a year and a half of wind and HF surface current readings, the wind surface current interaction is analyzed and quantified. Then that influence is plugged into the forecast algorithm. The final results show that the wind driven surface current is about 2% of the wind magnitude rotating around 50â ° clockwise, with coherence after 17h. The wind introduction into the forecast improved the accuracy, but only by an average of 10%. The error still climbs with the variability of the environment, but knowing the wind influence allows other factorsÎ± influences to be observed more accurately, such s the magnitude of the current itself. Forecasting is now done with 0.15 m/s plus or minus 0.1 m/s at 95% confidence.
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