ERAstar: A High-Resolution Ocean Forcing Product

A Trindade, M Portabella, ACM Stoffelen, W Lin, AH Verhoef

To address the growing demand for accurate high-resolution ocean wind forcing from the ocean modeling community, we develop a new forcing product, ERA*, by means of a geolocated scatterometer-based correction applied to the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis or ERA-interim (hereafter referred to as ERAi). This method successfully corrects for local wind vector biases present in the ERAi output globally. Several configurations of the ERA* are tested using complementary scatterometer data [advanced scatterometer (ASCAT)-A/B and oceansat-2 scatterometer (OSCAT)] accumulated over different temporal windows, verified against independent scatterometer data [HY-2A scatterometer (HSCAT)], and evaluated through spectral analysis to assess the geophysical consistency of the new stress equivalent wind fields (U10S). Due to the high quality of the scatterometer U10S, ERA* contains some of the physical processes missing or misrepresented in ERAi. Although the method is highly dependent on sampling, it shows potential, notably in the tropics. Short temporal windows are preferred, to avoid oversmoothing of the U10S fields. Thus, corrections based on increased scatterometer sampling (use of multiple scatterometers) are required to capture the detailed forcing errors. When verified against HSCAT, the ERA* configurations based on multiple scatterometers reduce the vector root-mean-square difference about 10% with respect to that of ERAi. ERA* also shows a significant increase in small-scale true wind variability, observed in the U10S spectral slopes. In particular, the ERA* spectral slopes consistently lay between those of HSCAT and ERAi, but closer to HSCAT, suggesting that ERA* effectively adds spatial scales of about 50 km, substantially smaller than those resolved by global numerical weather prediction (NWP) output over the open ocean (about 150 km).

Bibliographic data

A Trindade, M Portabella, ACM Stoffelen, W Lin, AH Verhoef. ERAstar: A High-Resolution Ocean Forcing Product
Status: published, Journal: IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Volume: 58, Year: 2020, First page: 1337, Last page: 1347, doi: 10.1109/TGRS.2019.2946019