Technical Integrity / Collaboration / Exceptional Results

Waves Anywhere: Real-Time Wave Modeling at Integral

Integral Consulting Inc. is pleased to announce a new WAVEWATCH III® (WW3) modeling system. The system provides quick access in real time to custom wave model predictions and supports coastal and open ocean vessel operations requiring high-resolution forecasts or hindcasts for historical studies. Where long-term climatological data are available, modeling scenarios can be examined to inform design criteria for coastal structures and other ocean-based construction. Bringing this capability in-house eliminates the need for third party software to meet certain client requirements and reduces the overall cost and time frame of projects that require wave predictions.


Our WW3 system enables the rapid deployment of models requiring wave boundary conditions and also provides regional high-resolution hindcasts, nowcasts, and forecasts where not previously available. Staff oceanographers generate and review the model predictions and then create graphics for a basic, front-end, web interface display of the model predictions that is fully customizable to meet project needs.


Integral scientists integrate the most recent wind forecasts made available by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction to offer updated, 8-day, WW3 forecasts at 6-hour intervals. We first created nested model domains with varying spatial extents and horizontal resolutions (e.g., from global to northeast Pacific to Monterey Bay) for initial validation with Spoondrift Spotter wave buoys, and then expanded to sea-scale and regional domains across the globe. This system is compatible with multiple wind forecast products to provide hindcasts and nowcasts for any geographic region in addition to the real-time forecasts.


Geographic extents of the Integral WW3 modeling domains.


While WW3 is a publicly available model widely used in the scientific community, Integral added innovative and adaptive algorithms to run each forecast cycle and process in real time, which allows us to quickly create new model domains of varying spatial resolution. The tools we developed provide an efficient method for running and displaying predictions from multiple nested model domains, and they are easily adaptable to other numerical models to provide automated quality control and real-time operation.

Graphical display of Integral’s global WW3 model domain.


Graphical display of Integral’s rapidly deployable Gulf of Mexico WW3 model domain. Coarser resolution simulation is shown at left, and higher resolution Gulf of Mexico simulation is shown at right. Note improved coverage along the shorelines.


Integral scientists are continuing to improve the front-end display for the real-time WW3 system, while making access to data downloads easier for the end user. The use of the Spotter wave buoy also allows for low-cost data assimilation to improve nowcasts and forecasts at sites globally. Spotter is an economical, easy to use, globally connected platform for collecting and visualizing high-quality ocean wave and current data. Integral’s WW3 system can be used to provide unparalleled accuracy to meet coastal ocean forecasting challenges and expands the range of marine services that we can provide to our clients.


Deployment of a Spotter wave buoy from a small vessel for low-cost data assimilation.


For more information or assistance, please contact Chris Flanary, Ph.D., at (561) 203-7345 or, or Craig Jones, Ph.D., at (831) 466-9630 or