S241 Annapolis’s Hurricane History: A Study of The Sensitivity of Impacts (flooding, wind) to Storm Intensity and Approach Vector

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Lindsey R Wan, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD; and B. S. Barrett and A. R. Davies

During the North Atlantic hurricane season (formally June through November), coastal communities are periodically affected by tropical cyclones. However, the extent of the impacts is not uniform and is often based on the tropical cyclone approach, direction, speed and intensity. Knowing in advance the likelihood and potential impacts from these different, localized tropical cyclone factors (speed, direction, and intensity) can help emergency managers and response teams prepare for hurricanes.

In this study, historical hurricane tracks and intensities were analyzed from the HURDAT Best Track dataset maintained by the National Hurricane Center. Storms from 1851 to 2017 that passed over or close to Annapolis, MD (within a 5° x 5° box) were binned by the direction of their approach relative to Annapolis. The mean and intensity for each approach vector was then input into the HURREVAC program to simulate storm surge flooding and overall impacts. HURREVAC was developed jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and is used widely by the emergency management community for training, planning, and hurricane response. Results suggest that angles of approach from the southeast may have the most severe impacts on the Annapolis, MD area, while storms that approach from the southwest may be less impactful, but more common.

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