Ocean modeling has evolved to the ability of resolving realistic, high-resolution ocean features. Improvements to data assimilation capabilities and the ocean observation network are also facilitating better ocean simulations. Capturing the proper air-sea interaction of ocean vertical mixing, sheared currents, and upwelling under tropical cyclones is a capability of particular importance. For this reason, HWRF coupled to POM or HYCOM, as well as COAMPS, are tools of considerable interest for improving tropical cyclone intensity and wind structure forecasts.
Because XBTs can be deployed in tropical cyclone events to enhance the observation database, they are a particularly valuable platform. We will show oceanic validation results of HWRF-POM, HWRF-HYCOM, and COAMPS using XBTs for Hurricane Isaac (2012) and Hurricane Irene (2011), in collaboration with the operational centers for these models.