Development and Evaluation of Storm Surge Ensemble Forecasting for the Philippines Using JMA Storm Surge Model

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
John Phillip Bartolome Lapidez1, Judd Pe Tablazon1, Alfredo Mahar Francisco Amante Lagmay1,2, John Kenneth Belena Suarez1 and Joy Toriol Santiago1, (1)Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, Quezon City, Philippines, (2)National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines
The Philippines is one of the countries most vulnerable to storm surge. It is located in the North-western Pacific basin which is the most active basin in the planet. An average of 20 tropical cyclones enters the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) every year. The archipelagic nature of the country with regions having gently sloping coasts and shallow bays also contribute to the formation of extreme surges. Last November 2013, storm surge brought by super typhoon Haiyan severely damaged several coastal regions in the Visayan Islands. Haiyan left more than 6 300 casualties and damages amounting to more than $ 2 billion. Extreme storm surge events such as this highlight the need to establish a storm surge early warning system for the country. This study explores the development and evaluation of storm surge ensemble forecasting for the Philippines using the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) storm surge model. 36-hour, 24-hour, and 12-hour tropical cyclone forecasts are used to generate an ensemble storm surge forecast to give the most probable storm surge height at a specific point brought by an incoming tropical cyclone. The result of the storm surge forecast is compared to tide gauge record to evaluate the accuracy. The total time of computation and dissemination of forecast result is also examined to assess the feasibility of using the JMA storm surge model for operational purposes.