News: Enhancing Storm Surge Visualization

ncsg2017/08/08 – NC Sea Grant Coastwatch Currents
Fast, Accurate Forecasts of Coastal Flooding: Enhancing Visualization of Storm Surge Guidance to Support Emergency Managers

Storm surge models must be both fast and accurate to give coastal communities the guidance they need to prepare for and respond to a storm. Perhaps just as important is the need for these forecasts to be visualized in a way that is meaningful and useable by emergency managers.

ADCIRC forecasts are currently visualized using Kalpana, a Python script that converts the model output into formats compatible with commonly-used visualization applications such as ArcGIS and Google Earth. With support from the National Consortium of Data Science (NCDS) and in partnership with North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM), our team has developed a new visualization method that makes use of enhanced topographic resolution along the flooding boundary. This results in modeled storm surge extending farther into estuaries and floodplains, increasing the accuracy of the forecast.

Seminar: NWS Raleigh

News: Hurricane Matthew

crc_logo2016/10/17 – DHS CRCoE
Coastal Resilience Center researchers, partners aid in Hurricane Matthew preparation and recovery

Dr. Casey Dietrich of NCSU, whose CRC project focuses on improving the speed of ADCIRC modeling, visited the North Carolina Emergency Management (NCEM) State Emergency Operations Center to see NCEM’s operation and workflow during storm response. Dietrich said emergency managers were excited about the data provided by ADCIRC predictions.

“They are using both the CERA site and the shapefiles we are generating,” Dietrich said. “The shapefiles are being combined manually with other datasets to determine the potential flood damages, in terms of both number and cost of buildings and infrastructure.”

Dietrich said that ADCIRC predictions have compared favorably to post-storm high-water marks and U.S. Geological Survey measurements of storm surge.

“Their comparisons after Hermine showed matches within a foot to the peak water levels,” Dietrich said. “They described ADCIRC as their eyes on the coast.”

Dietrich’s work with ADCIRC to provide more accurate storm surge estimates for North Carolina is also partially funded by the North Carolina Sea Grant and the National Consortium for Data Science.

The CERA website is used during Hurricane Matthew preparations at the NCEM Emergency Operations Center.

The CERA website is used during Hurricane Matthew preparations at the NCEM Emergency Operations Center.

ncsu-engr2016/10/06 – CCEE
Dietrich Aiding Efforts to Forecast Flooding during Hurricane Matthew

As Hurricane Matthew approaches Florida and prepares to move up the U.S. east coast, researchers in North Carolina are running models to forecast the storm surge and coastal flooding. Dr. Casey Dietrich is working with collaborators at the University of North Carolina, the Renaissance Computing Institute, and Seahorse Coastal Consulting to generate and share guidance during the storm. The models are run every 6 hours, and they provide high-resolution forecasts of possible flooding throughout the NC coast. The forecasts can be found at: Dietrich is providing forecast guidance to NC Emergency Management, for use in decisions about evacuation and resource deployment. This real-time forecasting is part of a research project to downscale the model results and provide them in formats tailored to the needs of emergency managers.

Forecast of coastal flooding due to Hurricane Matthew (2016).

Forecast of coastal flooding due to Hurricane Matthew (2016).

Mapping and Visualization of Coastal Flood Forecasts for Decision Support

The goal of this proposed research is to enable data-driven decision-making for coastal communities during storm events. The ADCIRC forecast data will be connected to geospatial databases for use by emergency managers to consider inundation and damages during storm scenarios. The critical objectives of this proposed research are (1) downscaling the model forecast data to the resolution of geospatial datasets used for decision support, (2) assessing the implications of this downscaling on forecast accuracy, and (3) connecting these technologies with an end user, specifically the NC Emergency Management.

JC Dietrich. “Mapping and Visualization of Coastal Flood Forecasts for Decision Support.” National Consortium for Data Science, Data Fellows, 2016/07/01 to 2017/06/30, $50,000 (Dietrich: $50,000).

News: National Consortium for Data Science chooses Data Fellows

ncds2016/04/28 – NCDS
National Consortium for Data Science chooses researchers from three universities as 2016 -2017 Data Fellows

Three researchers located at Drexel University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have been named 2016 -2017 Data Fellows by the National Consortium for Data Science (NCDS) the consortium announced today.

Researchers in North Carolina use the Advanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) model to provide real-time information about storm surge, water inundation, wind speeds, and wave heights during coastal storms. These models are produced constantly during major storms, however, communicating the information in the simulations to end users, such as emergency managers, is more challenging. This project will use visualization techniques to bring ADCIRC model data to emergency managers so they can quickly identify, analyze, and disseminate information about high-risk areas. By incorporating the model data with other data sources, the researchers hope to enable informed decision-making about evacuations and other disaster management efforts.