Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
doi:10.5194/nhess-2017-131
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
15 May 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
On the improvement of waves and storm surge hindcasts by downscaled atmospheric forcing: Application to historical storms
Émilie Bresson1, Philippe Arbogast1, Lotfi Aouf2, Denis Paradis2, Anna Kortcheva3, Andrey Bogatchev3, Vasko Galabov3, Marieta Dimitrova3, Guillaume Morvan2, Patrick Ohl2, Boryana Tsenova3, and Florence Rabier4 1Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques - Groupe de Modélisation et d’Assimilation pour la Prévision, Toulouse, France
2Direction des Opérations pour la Prévision, Département Météorologie Marine et Océanographie, Météo-France, Toulouse, France
3National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, Sofia, Bulgaria
4European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, United Kingdom
Abstract. Winds, waves and storm surges can induce severe damages in coastal areas. The FP7 IncREO project aims to understand the impact of climate change on coastal areas and also to assess the predictability of such extreme events. Reproduce efficiently past events is the fisrt step to reach this purpose. This paper shows the use of atmospheric downscaling techniques in order to improve waves and storm surge hindcasts. Past storms which caused damages on European coastal areas are investigated using atmosphere, wave and storm surge numerical models and downscaling techniques are based on existing ECMWF reanalyses. The results show clearly that the 10 km resolution wind forcing provided by the downscaled atmospheric model gives better waves and surges hindcast against using wind from the reanalysis. Furthermore, the analysis of the most extreme mid-latitude cyclones indicates that a 4D blending approach improves the whole process as it includes small scale processes in the initial conditions.

Citation: Bresson, É., Arbogast, P., Aouf, L., Paradis, D., Kortcheva, A., Bogatchev, A., Galabov, V., Dimitrova, M., Morvan, G., Ohl, P., Tsenova, B., and Rabier, F.: On the improvement of waves and storm surge hindcasts by downscaled atmospheric forcing: Application to historical storms, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/nhess-2017-131, in review, 2017.
Émilie Bresson et al.
Émilie Bresson et al.
Émilie Bresson et al.

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Short summary
It is of primary importance to understand wave and storm surge frequency and strength to design mitigation plans along the coasts. This article is dedicated to a wave and surge reconstruction strategy based on available ECMWF reanalyses and tested for French and Bulgarian events. The paper clearly shows that the wave and surge models must be forced by downscaled winds rather than reanalyses and how to proceed.
It is of primary importance to understand wave and storm surge frequency and strength to design...
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