11.6 An Overview of New Coastal Flood Tools for NWS Forecast Operations in Alaska

Thursday, 14 January 2016: 4:30 PM
Room 255/257 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Melissa Kreller, NOAA/NWSFO, Fairbanks, AK; and E. Townsend Jr., E. W. Plumb, C. Johnson, and A. Stuart

Coastal flooding and erosion poses a serious threat to infrastructure, livelihood, and property for communities along Alaska's northern and western coastline. A disaster declaration for coastal flooding events has been issued on average one per year since 2000. The National Weather Service (NWS) at the Fairbanks Weather Forecast Office (WFO) has enhanced the NWS Alaska Region coastal flood program to improve coastal flood operations and communications with partners, local residents and other stakeholders during coastal flood events. This includes integrated use of the Graphical Forecast Editor (GFE), Hydroview, and the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System (AHPS) software and the development of a new internal Coastal Decision Support Services (DSS) Tool. This tool pulls information into a one-stop shop to streamline the forecast process and allow forecasters to quickly communicate the impacts of coastal flood events and erosion.

New SmartTools were developed within GFE to allow forecasters the ability to not only view operational storm surge guidance and tidal gage information, but the ability to make modifications to the total water level forecast (as appropriate), and automatically generate hazard statements when impacts are occurring . The Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center (APRFC) SHEF encodes total water level model guidance to allow viewing in Hydroview, AHPS, and the Coastal DSS Tool. Information on total water level, storm surge, and flood severity (e.g., none, minor, moderate, major) will be ingested into the WFO Coastal Flood Warning (CFW) products for selected locations for future work.

A brief overview of the new SmartTools and methodology utilized by the forecasters within GFE will be described. Evaluation results of this data within the GFE, AHPS, and the Coastal DSS Tool will be provided for the 2015 Bering Sea storm season. Finally, future developments of tide and model surge guidance and collaboration work with Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys (ADGGS) will be discussed.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner