AbstractThe ability of forecasting systems to simulate tropical cyclones is still insufficient, and currently, there is an increased interest in improving model performance for intense tropical cyclones. In this study, the impact of reducing surface drag at high wind speeds on modeling wind and wave conditions during the super Typhoon Lingling event over the northwest Pacific Ocean in 2019 is investigated. The model response with respect to the parameterization for momentum exchange at the ocean surface is demonstrated using a fully coupled regional atmosphere model (the Consortium for Small-Scale Modeling-Climate Limited-area Modeling, CCLM) and a wind wave model (WAM). The active two-way coupling between the atmosphere and ocean waves model is enabled through the introduction of sea state-dependent surface drag into the CCLM and updated winds into the WAM. The momentum exchange with the sea surface is modeled via the dependency of the roughness length (Z0) on the surface stress itself and, when applicable, on the wind speed. Several high-resolution runs are performed using one-way or two-way fully coupled regional atmosphere-wave (CCLM-WAM) models. The model simulations are assessed against the best track data as well as against buoy and satellite observations. The results show that the spectral nudging technique can improve the model’s ability to capture the large-scale circulation, track and intensity of Typhoon Lingling at regional scales. Under the precondition of large-scale constraining, the two-way coupling simulation with the proposed new roughness parameterization performs much better than the simulations used in older studies in capturing the maximum wind speed of Typhoon Lingling due to the reduced drag at extreme wind conditions for the new Z0.