Modeling return periods of strong storms for Resilient Connecticut

Chang Liu1, Yan Jia1, Yaprak Onat1, Amin Ilia2, Alejandro Cifuentes-Lorenzen2, Todd Fake2 and James O'Donnell3, (1)University of Connecticut, Connecticut Institute for Resilience & Climate Adaptation (CIRCA), Groton, CT, United States, (2)University of Connecticut, Marine Sciences, Groton, CT, United States, (3)University of Connecticut, Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation, Groton, CT, United States
The storm-induced risk of flooding at coastal areas and their interaction with changing sea levels become apparent with understanding the changes in generated wave characteristics. We developed a high-resolution numerical model using FVCOM-SWAVE to hindcast severe hurricanes and nor’easters to model the circulation and waves including radiation stress, bottom boundary layer and surface stresses in the fetch-limited environment. A one-way nesting approach was employed in the model, with the parent grid covering the Long Island Sound (LIS) and extending across the Connecticut coast, and fine grid (~5 m resolution) covering coastal shorelines in New Haven and Fairfield counties of Connecticut. The hindcast simulations of the frequency of occurrence of significant wave height and peak period show that the wave period and wave height increases from west to east of the Long Island Sound. When combined with a GIS-based viewer, the model results determined the storm wave characteristics which will be useful for climate adaptation projects.