Wave-current interaction in the Florida Current
in a coupled atmosphere-ocean-wave model


The interaction of waves and currents are investigated in the Florida Current region in two events in early April 2005 using a state-of-the-art coupled atmosphere-ocean forecast model that includes assimilation of observations. During the first event, strong northerly winds force swell southward opposing the Florida Current. Current-wave interaction results in larger significant wave heights than found without currents. The second event has south-easterly winds with a significant component along the current direction. In that case, significant wave heights are smaller for the simulation that includes wave-current interaction than without that feed-back. Wave heights at buoy locations near the coast is generally in good agreement with the models results, which implies that inclusion of wave-current interaction may not be important near the shore . The simulation includes events where the maximum winds reach 20 m/s and significant wave heights exceed 2 m.