Hurricane Hindsight: Researchers Work to Improve Coastal Flooding Predictions
Computer models can make surge predictions based on limited information about storm characteristics such as track, size, maximum wind speed and central pressure. Those parameters are used to predict the surface pressures and wind speeds throughout a coastal region. Those atmospheric conditions are then used to predict how the ocean will respond by generating large waves and surge, and by flooding into low-lying areas.
Given all the variables involved, there’s a lot of room for error in storm wind and surge prediction modeling.
For our study, we wanted to know how forecasting errors affect subsequent coastal flooding predictions. To that end, we needed to answer a couple of questions: First, as a storm moves closer to the coast, how accurate are forecasts of certain storm parameters like track, size, and maximum wind speed? Second, how do those forecasts affect predictions of wind speeds and storm surge?
A Thomas, JC Dietrich, JG Fleming, BO Blanton, T Asher, RA Luettich. “High-Resolution Modeling of Surge during Hurricane Matthew.” ADCIRC Users Group Meeting, NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, College Park, Maryland, 13 April 2018.
N Tull, JC Dietrich, TE Langan, H Mitasova, BO Blanton, JG Fleming, RA Luettich. “Improving Accuracy of Real-Time Storm Surge Inundation Predictions.” ADCIRC Users Group Meeting, NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction, College Park, Maryland, 13 April 2018.
During the first day of the visit, the students visited an active dredge as it finished a beach nourishment project on Ocean Isle. The tour included a visit onto the dredge to learn how it operates, and also to the beach to see how the pumping is controlled and how the sand is worked to meet the design specifications. During the second day, the students visited several beaches closer to Wilmington to learn about terminal groins, nourishment projects, inlet stabilization, and construction practices.
This was the second annual field trip for the COPRI student chapter. During the 2017-2018 academic year, CCHT members served as President (Nelson Tull), Vice President (Rosemary Cyriac), and Treasurer (Alireza Gharagozlou).
N Tull, JC Dietrich, TE Langan, H Mitasova, BO Blanton, JG Fleming, RA Luettich. “Improving Accuracy of Real-Time Storm Surge Inundation Predictions.” Environmental, Water Resources, and Coastal Engineering Research Symposium, North Carolina State University, 2 March 2018.
A Gharagozlou, JC Dietrich, MF Overton, A Karanci. “Modeling the Erosion on Hatteras Island During Hurricane Isabel: Resolution Requirements for Coupling with Circulation-Wave Models.” 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, Oregon, 11-16 February 2018.
R Cyriac, JC Dietrich, A Fathi, C Dawson, K Dresback, CA Blain, M Bilskie, S Hagen, H Graber. “Wind Effects on the Choctawhatchee River Plume at Destin Inlet, Florida.” 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting, Portland, Oregon, 11-16 February 2018.