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Effects of new drag coefficient (Cd) parameterizations on WAVEWATCH III (WW3) model surface wave simulations are investigated. The new parameterizations are based on a coupled wind–wave model (CWW) and a wave tank experiment, and yields reduced Cd at high wind speeds. Numerical experiments for uniform winds and Hurricane Katrina (2005) indicate that the original Cd parameterization used in WW3 overestimates drag at high wind speeds compared to recent observational, theoretical, and numerical modeling results. Comparisons with buoy measurements during Hurricane Katrina demonstrate that WW3 simulations with the new Cd parameterizations yield more accurate significant wave heights compared to simulations with the original Cd parameterization, provided that accurate high-resolution wind forcing fields are used.