Hindcast Data

Wave data can be derived from wind field information by use of methods known as hindcasting. A wide variety of methods is available, ranging from simple formulae for estimating wave heights at a given site from knowledge of the windspeed, fetch, and duration [14] [15], to numerical models for translating wind field time histories covering large areas into corresponding wave field information. A considerable number of numerical wave prediction models has been developed covering various areas of the world, and a catalogue of these is given in [16]. Some of these have been in operation on a continuous basis for several years, and some have been run retrospectively for long periods to generate archives of wave climate data. The most extensive source of such data is a hindcast climatology generated by use of a so-called 'Spectral Ocean Wave Model' (SOWM) [17]. This is an archive containing detailed descriptions of wave conditions on a global grid of points covering a 20-year period. Atlases of data derived from this archive are being produced, and the first of these, covering 63 grid points over the North Atlantic, was published in October 1983 [18].