Rapid wave and storm surge warning system for tropical cyclones in Mexico
Wednesday, 16 December 2015: 11:20
309 (Moscone South)
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, is responsible for the forecast of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic and Eastern North Pacific basins. As such, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean countries depend on the information issued by the NHC related to the characteristics of a particular tropical cyclone and associated watch and warning areas. Despite waves and storm surge are important hazards for marine operations and coastal dwellings, their forecast is not part of the NHC responsibilities. This work presents a rapid wave and storm surge warning system based on 3100 synthetic tropical cyclones doing landfall in Mexico. Hydrodynamic and wave models were driven by the synthetic events to create a robust database composed of maximum envelops of wind speed, significant wave height and storm surge for each event. The results were incorporated into a forecast system that uses the NHC advisory to locate the synthetic events passing inside specified radiuses for the present and forecast position of the real event. Using limited computer resources, the system displays the information meeting the search criteria, and the forecaster can select specific events to generate the desired hazard map (i.e. wind, waves, and storm surge) based on the maximum envelop maps. This system was developed in a limited time frame to be operational in 2015 by the National Hurricane and Severe Storms Unit of the Mexican National Weather Service, and represents a pilot project for other countries in the region not covered by detailed storm surge and waves forecasts.