1530 Surface Wind Reconstructions for Hurricane Michael at Landfall with a New Parametric Model with Observational Optimization

Wednesday, 15 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Eric W. Uhlhorn, AIR-Worldwide, Boston, MA; and S. Tolwinski-Ward, S. Lorsolo, and P. Jue

On the 10th of October 2018, Category-5 Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle Gulf of Mexico coast near Panama City with maximum sustained winds estimated to be 135 kts (70 m/s). Two days prior to landfall, Michael was a minimal Category-1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 kts when a period of rapid intensification commenced in which winds increased by 65 kts over the 2-days and ended at landfall. At that time, Michael was forecasted to strike as a 100 kt, Category-3 storm. Using a new parametric model of the tropical cyclone surface wind field for real time and stochastic hazard risk assessment developed at AIR Worldwide (AIR), the impact of the forecast uncertainty on the full wind field at landfall and inland is examined. Assimilated surface wind observations include aircraft-based (SFMR, GPS dropwindsonde), coastal (CMAN), and land-based (ASOS, state-operated mesonets, research towers). The impact of overland friction on the local wind, derived from high resolution land use data, is also explicitly forward modeled. In this talk we will present the evolution of the expected impact of Michael at landfall as the intensity changed, both in the forecasts and the advisory analyses.
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