Sargasso: Storms, Tides, Disasters

Jared: Take a look at how great the storm surge would be. This would be the cause of much of the inland flooding.

Erick: The best approach would be to predict the severity of the storm (wind and precipitation).

Chris: It is critical to look at the paths that typically produce the greatest storm surge. I'd also recommend that we analyze the accuracy of our predictions of storm paths and speed to prevent any surprises.

The most important factor in calling for an evacuation is the potential storm surge height and the predicted impact site of the surge. The storm surge is the most likely candidate for the inundation of the low-lying coastal regions of Delaware. This is our main concern because there are a lot of businesses and real estate in Sussex County is located near the coast.



I made a list of things that we should talk about in the presentation.
Maybe we could divide these up and each have our own PowerPoint.
Then on Sunday we could combine them and each go over it?

General: What is easy/ hard to predict. (rainfall, track, surge, intensity)

How are storm surge predictions made.
Hurricane Models

Comparing Lewis to Delaware

Lewis: Population, Floodplains

Overall risk: In general how often do we predict that we will have to order an evacuation?

I would like to do the hurricane model and storm surge prediction parts if that is ok with you guys. Just let me know what you guys think
about this outline.
I will look for any good links and post them.

- Chris

Chris 9/17 10:30
Grid convergence studies for the prediction of hurricane storm surge (p 369-401)
C. A. Blain, J. J. Westerink, R. A. Luettich Jr
Published Online: Dec 4 1998 4:59AM
DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0363(19980228)26:4<369::AID-FLD624>3.0.CO;2-0

This article talks about errors in storm surge vs grid resolution.

Andreas 9/17 13:19: Did you try a google scholar or web-of-science search on the second author of the above paper? I think that person was also a co-author of the Sept.-2008 Physics Today article on a similar subject.

Chris 9/17 3:10
I have not found that article yet.

Chris 9/17 3:10
Here is an article that talks about how storm surge errors. After I read it I will include a short summary.

SLOSH = Sea Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricanes

"The key inputs which can't be prepared before the storm threatens are the wind and pressure fields used to describe the hurricane over time."
Specifically, SLOSH requires the track of the storm, the radius of maximum winds over time, and the pressure difference between the center of the storm and the ambient pressure over time."

The article says that if those variables are 100% accurate (hind casting) then the storm surge is within 20% of what is predicted. This sounds like a lot but areas that are separated by one mile can have the same difference in surge.

Chris 9/23 11:15

This is a military article that looks at the frequency of hurricanes hitting Delaware. It is very long and I only looked at parts of it. It talks about using past hurricane tracks to predict the frequency. There is a lot of pictures that we could use. One picture looks at the accuracy of the storm surge model in relation to tides. It appears that the model does a very good job representing the tides. There is a small issue with lag time. The article talks about "return periods" which are time frames relating to certain elevations of storm surge. It seems like 8 to 10 feet seems to be the max even for 200 years.

Chris 9/23 3:30
This is a graphic of the storm surge do to Isabel.
This is an article somewhat explaining why we don't get hit by hurricanes to ofter.
It mentions the unique characteristics that were involved with Isabel's track.
It briefly talks about a what-if situation involving a hurricane hitting Delaware.

These are not goggle scholar articles but they may help compliment them.

Chris 9/24 3:25

Here is some of my abstract part. I will probably make a few changes. It is roughly 1/3 of a page.

Storm surge is a deceptive force that poses a real threat to Delaware. Over the years, a great deal of research has gone into predicting storm surge. While there have been many models, the SLOSH model is the major one and is used by most government officials. It receives variables directly derived from major hurricane models. Stress and drag forces are looked at to calculate water level rise. Also, the model extensively looks into aspects of the coastline. Comparisons are made between coastal surge and river surge. The error in storm surge prediction is typically around 20%. Timing of maximum storm surge needs to be matched up with local high and low tides to find out the maximum sea level rise.

Chris 9/24 3:25

Here is a good opening or closing:
Delaware has a unique geographical location that largely shields it from major hurricanes. This poses a huge danger if a major hurricane does hit. We are in the range where a hurricane will directly hit Delaware about once every fifty to one hundred years.

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