An operational forecasting system for the meteorological and marine conditions in Mediterranean regional and coastal areas
The coupling of a suite of meteorological limited area models with a wave prediction system based on the nesting of different wave models provides for medium-range sea state forecasts at the Mediterranean, regional and coastal scale. The new system has been operational at ISPRA since September 2012, after the upgrade of both the meteorological BOLAM model and large-scale marine components of the original SIMM forecasting system and the implementation of the new regional and coastal (WAM-SWAN coupling) chain of models. The coastal system is composed of nine regional-scale high-resolution grids, covering all Italian seas and six coastal grids at very high resolution, capable of accounting for the effects of the interaction between the incoming waves and the bathymetry. A preliminary analysis of the performance of the system is discussed here focusing on the ability of the system to simulate the mean features of the wave climate at the regional and sub-regional scale. The results refer to two different verification studies. The first is the comparison of the directional distribution of almost one year of wave forecasts against the known wave climate in northwestern Sardinia and central Adriatic Sea. The second is a sensitivity test on the effect on wave forecasts of the spatial resolution of the wind forcing, being the comparison between wave forecast and buoy data at two locations in the northern Adriatic and Ligurian Sea during several storm episodes in the period autumn 2012–winter 2013.