AbstractIn tropical and sub-tropical regions, hurricanes (or tropical cyclones or typhoons) represent the most extreme meteorological systems. The complex vortex structure of the winds in such storms also represent a demanding test of the physics of numerical models. Despite the apparent complexity of these systems, the fact that the intense low pressure systems are well formed means that the wind field can be parameterized with surprising accuracy. This feature of the wind field, together with extensive insitu buoy and remote sensing measurements means that a detailed understanding of the spatial distribution of the waves and the form of the directional spectrum is emerging. This paper will summarize the various data sets available and present a consistent description of the hurricane wave field suitable for coastal and ocean engineering applications.
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