4.1 Evolution of High Fidelity Surge and Wave Models of Southern Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina (2005)

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 8:30 AM
Room 342 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Joannes Westerink, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN; and J. Smith, J. C. Dietrich, and R. A. Luettich

Since Hurricane Katrina, an intensive effort has been made to develop high fidelity surge and wave models of the coastal Southern Louisiana with a focus on interaction of all scales. Resolution, unstructured grids, and integrated domains from ocean basin to coastal floodplain have been the key to the success in achieving better accuracy. Massive computer parallelism has been the driving force that has enabled this. The driving physics has also improved with detailed data driven air-sea interaction and even dynamic riverine based bottom friction. In concert with the rapid improvements in modeling has been an extensive data collection improvement effort, deploying both permanent and event water level and wave measurement hardware. The number of deployed devices has gone up by several orders of magnitude. They are positioned over much larger areas, including the wetlands, and are much more robust. This enables a much more thorough validation of the models than was ever possible. Since Hurricane Katrina (2005), five major storms have impacted Southern Louisiana. These storms now form an excellent validation set to understand model performance and accuracy. In addition, real time forecasting efforts have further extended our understanding of model skill. Both inter-model and intra-model comparisons are presented.
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