S156 Synoptic Climatology of High-Impact Wind Events on the Indian River Lagoon

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Alex J. Robertson, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL

Wind direction and speeds have important hydrologic impacts in the Indian River Lagoon, from wind-driven coastal erosion to saltwater intrusion into bodies of non-saline groundwater. Because the Indian River Lagoon is isolated from oceanic wave action, the largest and most powerful waves are caused by high winds blowing for a long duration over a long fetch. Possible high-impact wind events were identified using NCEP Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) wind speed estimates in Melbourne, Florida, that were then filtered to discern high wind speed events. Further examination of individual events was carried out by studying NWS Weather Prediction Center surface analyses to identify wind events characterized by a long duration of high winds blowing parallel to the Indian River Lagoon. Analysis of the selected wind events showed that passing cold fronts were most likely to cause long-duration, long-fetch events, but that synoptic-scale low pressure systems and especially tropical systems were characterized by generally high winds but shorter durations of long fetch length.
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