Impact of Tropical Cyclone Landfall Angle on Storm Surge Along the Mid-Atlantic Bight

Alexandra N. Ramos-Valle, Enrique N. Curchitser, Cindy L. Bruyère

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Storm surge impact depends on coastal geographical and bathymetric features as well as various tropical cyclone characteristics including the size, intensity, and impact angle of the storm. Although the factors contributing to storm surge are well studied, uncertainties remain regarding the level of sensitivity to these parameters. This work seeks to contribute to the current knowledge of storm surge by studying the sensitivity to tropical cyclone landfall angle. We perform an ensemble of synthetic tropical cyclones using a newly developed modeling capability derived from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, the Hybrid WRF Cyclone Model. Wind and atmospheric pressure field outputs from 200 synthetic cyclones are used as atmospheric forcing for the Advance Circulation (ADCIRC) model. We study the sensitivity of storm surge offshore extent and inundation to tropical cyclone impact angle. The extent of the impact area around the landfall location is sensitive to the cyclone landfall angle. Cyclones with tracks perpendicular to the coast are shown to produce the highest water levels and broadest inland and offshore extent. Results also indicate a heterogeneity in the sensitivity to landfall angle along the coast, highlighting the importance of both cyclone impact angle and location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2019JD031796
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 27 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • WRF
  • ensemble modeling
  • storm surge
  • tropical cyclones


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