S59 Numerical Simulations of the Storm Surge associated with Hurricane Isabel (2003)

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Britney E. Hamilton, North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC; and Y. L. Lin

In this study, we perform numerical simulations of the storm surge associated with Hurricane Isabel (2003) using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) and Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) models. Isabel (2003) was a category 2 hurricane that made landfall around 18Z, September 18, 2003, near Drum Inlet in Outer Banks, NC. Storm surge of 10 feet was produced in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina. Other states such as Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and even New York, were affected by Hurricane Isabel's (2003) storm surge. The storm surge was under-predicted by one to three feet below the observed storm surge values. Storm surge prediction needs to be further improved in order to help mitigate future property damage and prevent fatalities.

The WRF simulations are run by using three nested domains with 36 km, 12 km, and 4 km resolutions. Then, the following output parameters from WRF will be used to input into SLOSH: storm position, lowest atmospheric sea level pressure in the eye of the hurricane, storm size measured from the center to the region of maximum winds, initial height of the water surface, and characteristics of the basin. The WRF results will be compared with observations to help improve predictions with domain size, initiation time, physics parameterizations, and possibly data assimilation. We will compare the SLOSH model results with the SLOSH historical runs and data observed by the NHC.

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