In this paper, high spatial resolution wind fields retrieved by the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) remotely sensed images are first analyzed to force coastal wind– wave oceanographic models. A very effective technique is here proposed to retrieve wind field by SAR images collected by the Italian Cosmo-SkyMed (CSK) constellation. The technique is first calibrated using a large data set of CSK SAR data and then applied to a meaningful set of CSK SAR data collected during three storms occurred in the Southern Thyrrenian Sea area during the winter season of 2010. CSK SAR winds are used to force SWAN wave numerical simulations to retrieve meaningful wave parameters (e.g., significant wave height, wave directions and periods) as physical descriptors of storm events. Experimental results, undertaken using both CSK and conventional ECMWF wind forcing, buoys and scatterometer winds, demonstrate that CSK winds can be successfully used to predict wave parameters during storm events. The best results are obtained when CSK winds are merged with ECMWF ones to generate a new ‘‘blended’’ wind product.
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