WaveWatch III is a third generation wave model developed at NOAA/NCEP in the spirit of the WAM wave model. It is a further development of the model WaveWatch I developed at Delft University of Technology and WaveWatch II, developed at NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center. It reflects some modifications of its predecessors in terms of the governing physical equations, the physical parameterizations used in these equations, and the numerical methods used to solve these equations.
The governing equations simulate temporal and spatial variations of mean water depth and mean current, and wave growth and decay resulting from the implied force of the surface wind, dissipation (e.g. whitecapping), and the effect of the bottom friction on the water column. The physics of breaking waves are not included, hence the applicability of this model is outside of the surf zone and on larger scale wave features. Both a first order and a third order accurate numerical scheme are used to solve the governing equations.
Outputs from the model include: gridded fields of significant wave height (highest 1/3 of the wave heights), wave directions and wave periods associated with these wave heights and spectral information that describes the wave energy at the different wavelengths.
For more information about WaveWatch III please visit: http://polar.ncep.noaa.gov/waves/index2.shtml