A Coupled OpenFOAM-WRF Study on Atmosphere-Wake-Ocean Interaction

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This work aims to better understand how small scale disturbances that are generated at the air-sea interface propagate into the surrounding atmosphere under realistic environmental conditions. To that end, a one-way coupled atmosphere-ocean model is presented, in which predictions of sea surface currents and sea surface temperatures from a microscale ocean model are used as constant boundary conditions in a larger atmospheric model. The coupled model consists of an ocean component implemented while using the open source CFD software OpenFOAM, an atmospheric component solved using the Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) model, and a Python-based utility foamToWRF, which is responsible for mapping field data between the ocean and atmospheric domains. The results are presented for two demonstration cases, which indicate that the proposed coupled model is able to capture the propagation of small scale sea surface disturbances in the atmosphere, although a more thorough study is required in order to properly validate the model.



atmosphere-ocean coupling, air-sea interface, OpenFOAM, Weather Research and Forecast (WRF)


Gilbert, J.; Pitt, J. A Coupled OpenFOAM-WRF Study on Atmosphere-Wake-Ocean Interaction. Fluids 2020, 6, 12.