Integrating WRF Hydro into the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave-Sediment Transport (COAWST) Modeling System: Application to Hurricane Florence (2018)
We integrated the hydrologic model WRF-Hydro into the coupled system, allowing precipitation to be routed as overland flow to rivers and ultimately the ocean. This system was used to simulate Hurricane Florence (2018), a major storm that brought record-setting rainfall and flooding to the mid-Atlantic coast of the US. We demonstrate interactions of fresh water inflows with ocean surge, the total combined water levels as compared to observations, discuss complications, modeling strategies, and approaches to advance the modeling of coupled interactions. The model allows the analysis of the separate and combined effects of storm surge, rainfall, and riverine flooding during Florence, that can lead to improved flood preparedness. The ultimate goal of this effort is to provide sound guidance based on real-time flood and storm surge forecasting to stakeholders in coastal communities.