6.3 CERA: An Interactive Storm Surge Visualization Web Tool

Wednesday, 10 January 2018: 12:00 AM
Ballroom E (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Carola Kaiser, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA

The tropical events impacting the Northern Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast in the past decade have brought a renewed awareness of the vulnerabilities of these regions to the impacts of hurricane storm surge. This awareness has prompted local governments to increase efforts to improve storm surge modeling, flood protection, and forecasting systems.

The ADCIRC storm surge model to compute tide, wind-wave and hurricane storm surge has seen many improvements in recent years, and its use is increasing. From running models in near real-time operationally to modeling impacts of proposed coastal protection and restoration projects, the need for accurate modeling is ever increasing.

One of the key components of running a successful model like ADCIRC is the delivery of the forecasting results to the end-user in a fast and easy-to-understand way. Emergency managers, weather forecasters, and GIS specialists seek visualizations and geographic data to evaluate the impact of an impending or active tropical storm or to see the tide, wind-wave, and extra-tropical surge conditions on a daily basis. The most sought-after information comes both from real-time measurements like water level or precipitation stations and from coastal and ocean models that predict the tide, wind-wave, and hurricane storm surge conditions.

The presentation of modeling results to the end-user in an effective, user-friendly, and visually appealing way is a critical and important step in the entire process of a real-time system and an essential precondition for a wide acceptance in the community. The interactive website CERA (http://coastalemergency.org ) has proved to be a successful and efficient tool for the presentation of ADCIRC model results. CERA has been designed to be an intuitive-to-understand tool for the scientific community, emergency managers, and decision makers. The CERA web application uses a general language, non-ambiguous terms, and an intuitive interface to serve those requirements. On the other hand, CERA also provides in-depth information for experienced users such as modelers, meteorologists, or oceanographers. The CERA website is the user-facing endpoint of a fully automated, stable, reliable, and robust workflow implementing an effective post-processing system which generates the data visualization directly from ADCIRC. This workflow delivers huge data sets to hundreds of users via a web mapping application and enables timely and accurate data distribution to the wider community. Additionally, the CERA visualization system overlays the simulation results with consolidated real-time data which is automatically collected from various agencies, such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), US Geological Survey (USGS), US Army Corp of Engineers, National Hurricane Center (NHC), etc.

We propose to show the existing CERA technology with examples from several storm runs (Irene 2011, Isaac 2012, Cindy 2017). We will demonstrate the importance of accurate input data like the bathymetry and elevation from the ADCIRC meshes and the improvements that had been made over the past years. We give examples what additional information proved to be useful for emergency managers during active storms. We will also explain how the Advanced Surge Guidance System (ASGS) can be effectively used in operational mode to provide forecasting results in real-time.

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