News: Forecasting of Hurricane Isaac

2012/08/29 – Computerworld
Supercomputers help New Orleans prepare for Hurricane Isaac
Computing advances since Katrina have helped the city plan better on the storm surge, for one


About the time of Katrina, the computer models “were much coarser and had minimum resolutions of only 100-200 meters,” said Casey Dietrich, a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at University of Texas in Austin.

Dietrich has been running compute models at the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas to assess the impact of the storm surge on Texas.

Emergency planners in both states take the data generated by the university researchers and incorporate it into geographic information systems.

“They can look down at neighborhood scale and say ‘on this street along the levy we’re going to have water this high,’ and plan accordingly,” Dietrich said.

Comparing the capability today with that at the time of Katrina, Dietrich said: “I think we have a very strong understanding of how hurricane wave storm develop and how they can threaten a coastal environment.”

Also see local coverage by the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences.