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On the Impact of the Assimilation of SARAL/AltiKa Wave Data in the Operational Wave Model MFWAM

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As a part of our calibration/validation activities five months of SARAL/AltiKa wave data have been analyzed in this study. A robust quality control procedure using threshold values on signal and retrieved wave heights was implemented before the assimilation. Assimilation runs in the wave model Météo-France (MFWAM) were performed for a long period. The validation of the model outputs was performed with independent wave observations from altimeter and buoy data. The results indicate good performance in terms of bias and scatter index for the significant wave height and the peak wave period. Statistical analyses were performed for different ocean basins (high and intermediate latitudes and tropics). The use of SARAL/AltiKa and Jason-2 wave data combined was also investigated. This leads to further improvements for the analysis and forecast periods. In other respects, the impact of the assimilation of SARAL/AltiKa wave data is discussed for waves under strong wind conditions such as typhoons Fitow and Danas which occurred in early October 2013.
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Keywords: SARAL/AltiKa; analysis; assimilation; impact; significant wave height; wave model

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Météo-France, Division Marine et Océanographie-Direction de la prévision, Toulouse, France

Publication date: September 10, 2015

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