Simulating storm surge impacts with a coupled atmosphere-inundation model with varying meteorological forcing

Alexandra N. Ramos Valle, Enrique N. Curchitser, Cindy L. Bruyere, Kathryn R. Fossell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Storm surge events have the potential to cause devastating damage to coastal communities. The magnitude of their impacts highlights the need for increased accuracy and real-time forecasting and predictability of storm surge. In this study, we assess two meteorological forcing configurations to hindcast the storm surge of Hurricane Sandy, and ultimately support the improvement of storm surge forecasts. The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model is coupled to the ADvanced CIRCulation Model (ADCIRC) to determine water elevations. We perform four coupled simulations and compare storm surge estimates resulting from the use of a parametric vortex model and a fullphysics atmospheric model. One simulation is forced with track-based meteorological data calculated from WRF, while three simulations are forced with the full wind and pressure field outputs from WRF simulations of varying resolutions. Experiments were compared to an ADCIRC simulation forced by National Hurricane Center best track data, as well as to station observations. Our results indicated that given accurate meteorological best track data, a parametric vortex model can accurately forecast maximum water elevations, improving upon the use of a full-physics coupled atmospheric-surge model. In the absence of a best track, atmospheric forcing in the form of full wind and pressure field from a high-resolution atmospheric model simulation prove reliable for storm surge forecasting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number35
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 5 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Ocean Engineering


  • Atmospheric forcing
  • Hurricanes
  • Storm surge
  • WRF

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