Within the current activities of the Operational Oceanography department of NCMR, three wave models operate for the area of the Aegean Sea. In order to develop an efficient forecasting structure and apart from the traditional model-to-measurement comparison, a preliminary modelto- model comparison in the examined area is also performed: mean annual results concerning model hindcasts are presented and a Geographical Relative-Deviation Function (GRDF) is produced. This function can be used as a guideline for further research in the areas of "model high uncertainty" by operating wave buoys in those areas.
Background information on the Aegean Sea The Aegean Sea is located in the Eastern Mediterranean, between the coasts of Greece and Turkey, being the third major sea of the Eastern Mediterranean, larger and deeper than the Adriatic but smaller in volume than the Levantine. The very irregular coastline, the complicated bottom topography, the presence of a large number of islands scattered over the area and the abrupt changes in magnitude and direction of the time varying wind fields constitute the distinguishing features of the Aegean. The topographic and bathymetric features of the Aegean are depicted in Figure 1. The Aegean Sea is the "link" between the fresh Black Sea and the salty Eastern Mediterranean. To the northeast, the Black Sea waters enter the Aegean through the Dardanelles straits. To the south, the Aegean is connected to the Eastern Mediterranean through several passages along the Cretan arc: the straits of Rhodes, Karpathos and Kassos in the southeast and of Kithira in the southwest. On the average, the dominant winds over the Aegean blow from the north. Second in frequency appear the southern winds, whereas the eastern and western winds have much lower frequencies of occurrence. During winter, strong, cold and dry northerlies prevail.