This paper presents the hindcast of the winter of 2013 in the North Sea using two wave models: WAVEWATCH-III (WW3) and SWAN. The performance of the WW3 and SWAN models was assessed for this winter, when successive storms hit the hindcast area in a short time period, and examined in terms of the averaged wave parameters (Hs, peak period and wave direction) and the power wave spectrum. The assessment was made from an operational point of view. Possible effects of the accuracy of the wind fields, the physics chosen in each model and numerical settings are discussed. We elaborate on efficiency, accuracy and grid issues for both models, aiming to provide guidelines for ocean engineering wave forecasts.

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