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Radiational tides: their double-counting in storm surge forecasts and contribution to the Highest Astronomical Tide

This paper is available in a repository.
This paper is available in a repository.

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Tide predictions based on tide-gauge observations are not just the astronomical tides; they also contain radiational tides – periodic sea-level changes due to atmospheric conditions and solar forcing. This poses a problem of double-counting for operational forecasts of total water level during storm surges. In some surge forecasting, a regional model is run in two modes: tide only, with astronomic forcing alone; and tide and surge, forced additionally by surface winds and pressure. The surge residual is defined to be the difference between these configurations and is added to the local harmonic predictions from gauges. Here we use the Global Tide and Surge Model (GTSM) based on Delft-FM to investigate this in the UK and elsewhere, quantifying the weather-related tides that may be double-counted in operational forecasts. We show that the global S 2 atmospheric tide is captured by the tide-and-surge model and observe changes in other major constituents, including M 2 . The Lowest and Highest Astronomical Tide levels, used in navigation datums and design heights, are derived from tide predictions based on observations. We use our findings on radiational tides to quantify the extent to which these levels may contain weather-related components.

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