Numerical Simulation of Storm Surge Generated by Hurricane Arthur with an Air-Sea Coupled Model

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015: 4:00 PM
130 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Fan Zhang, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Cambridge, MD; and M. Li, S. Lee, and A. C. Ross

Hurricane associated storm surge prediction is highly dependent on the accuracy of the atmospheric forecast, while the numerical simulation of a hurricane is very sensitive to the parameterization and which processes are considered in the model. In this research, we developed an Air-Sea Coupled model with Finite Volume Community Ocean Model (FVCOM) and Advanced Research-Weather Research and Forecasting Model (ARW-WRF) in a case study for Hurricane Arthur, 2014. Different groups of numerical experiments were designed to target the most important factors greatly affecting the storm surge height and spatial distribution from both the ocean side and the atmospheric side. Different Sea Surface Temperature (SST), several different global atmospheric models as initial conditions and boundary conditions, 2 versions of Rapid Radiative Transfer Models (RRTM), together with coarse and fine grid resolution for WRF have been tested to get various hurricane track and intensity. Impact of pressure drop during hurricanes, river discharge and subtidal signals coming from open boundary were switched on or off to examine their significance to the surge building process. Primary results indicate the surge height are very sensitive to the hurricane track, especially in a semi-enclosed bay, e.g., Chesapeake Bay, while the uncertainty and deficiency in the atmospheric model could transfer to the ocean mixed layer and dramatically affect the surge prediction.