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Title: Uncertainty and feasibility of dynamical downscaling for modeling tropical cyclones for storm surge simulation

Abstract

This paper presents a modeling study conducted to evaluate the uncertainty of a regional model in simulating hurricane wind and pressure fields, and the feasibility of driving coastal storm surge simulation using an ensemble of region model outputs produced by 18 combinations of three convection schemes and six microphysics parameterizations, using Hurricane Katrina as a test case. Simulated wind and pressure fields were compared to observed H*Wind data for Hurricane Katrina and simulated storm surge was compared to observed high-water marks on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The ensemble modeling analysis demonstrated that the regional model was able to reproduce the characteristics of Hurricane Katrina with reasonable accuracy and can be used to drive the coastal ocean model for simulating coastal storm surge. Results indicated that the regional model is sensitive to both convection and microphysics parameterizations that simulate moist processes closely linked to the tropical cyclone dynamics that influence hurricane development and intensification. The Zhang and McFarlane (ZM) convection scheme and the Lim and Hong (WDM6) microphysics parameterization are the most skillful in simulating Hurricane Katrina maximum wind speed and central pressure, among the three convection and the six microphysics parameterizations. Error statistics of simulated maximummore » water levels were calculated for a baseline simulation with H*Wind forcing and the 18 ensemble simulations driven by the regional model outputs. The storm surge model produced the overall best results in simulating the maximum water levels using wind and pressure fields generated with the ZM convection scheme and the WDM6 microphysics parameterization.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1333449
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-119692
Journal ID: ISSN 0921-030X; KP1703030
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Natural Hazards; Journal Volume: 84; Journal Issue: 2
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Yang, Zhaoqing, Taraphdar, Sourav, Wang, Taiping, Ruby Leung, L., and Grear, Molly. Uncertainty and feasibility of dynamical downscaling for modeling tropical cyclones for storm surge simulation. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1007/s11069-016-2482-y.
Yang, Zhaoqing, Taraphdar, Sourav, Wang, Taiping, Ruby Leung, L., & Grear, Molly. Uncertainty and feasibility of dynamical downscaling for modeling tropical cyclones for storm surge simulation. United States. doi:10.1007/s11069-016-2482-y.
Yang, Zhaoqing, Taraphdar, Sourav, Wang, Taiping, Ruby Leung, L., and Grear, Molly. 2016. "Uncertainty and feasibility of dynamical downscaling for modeling tropical cyclones for storm surge simulation". United States. doi:10.1007/s11069-016-2482-y.
@article{osti_1333449,
title = {Uncertainty and feasibility of dynamical downscaling for modeling tropical cyclones for storm surge simulation},
author = {Yang, Zhaoqing and Taraphdar, Sourav and Wang, Taiping and Ruby Leung, L. and Grear, Molly},
abstractNote = {This paper presents a modeling study conducted to evaluate the uncertainty of a regional model in simulating hurricane wind and pressure fields, and the feasibility of driving coastal storm surge simulation using an ensemble of region model outputs produced by 18 combinations of three convection schemes and six microphysics parameterizations, using Hurricane Katrina as a test case. Simulated wind and pressure fields were compared to observed H*Wind data for Hurricane Katrina and simulated storm surge was compared to observed high-water marks on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The ensemble modeling analysis demonstrated that the regional model was able to reproduce the characteristics of Hurricane Katrina with reasonable accuracy and can be used to drive the coastal ocean model for simulating coastal storm surge. Results indicated that the regional model is sensitive to both convection and microphysics parameterizations that simulate moist processes closely linked to the tropical cyclone dynamics that influence hurricane development and intensification. The Zhang and McFarlane (ZM) convection scheme and the Lim and Hong (WDM6) microphysics parameterization are the most skillful in simulating Hurricane Katrina maximum wind speed and central pressure, among the three convection and the six microphysics parameterizations. Error statistics of simulated maximum water levels were calculated for a baseline simulation with H*Wind forcing and the 18 ensemble simulations driven by the regional model outputs. The storm surge model produced the overall best results in simulating the maximum water levels using wind and pressure fields generated with the ZM convection scheme and the WDM6 microphysics parameterization.},
doi = {10.1007/s11069-016-2482-y},
journal = {Natural Hazards},
number = 2,
volume = 84,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8
}
  • Our paper examines the impact of the dynamical core on the simulation of tropical cyclone (TC) frequency, distribution, and intensity. The dynamical core, the central fluid flow component of any general circulation model (GCM), is often overlooked in the analysis of a model's ability to simulate TCs compared to the impact of more commonly documented components (e.g., physical parameterizations). The Community Atmosphere Model version 5 is configured with multiple dynamics packages. This analysis demonstrates that the dynamical core has a significant impact on storm intensity and frequency, even in the presence of similar large-scale environments. In particular, the spectral elementmore » core produces stronger TCs and more hurricanes than the finite-volume core using very similar parameterization packages despite the latter having a slightly more favorable TC environment. Furthermore, these results suggest that more detailed investigations into the impact of the GCM dynamical core on TC climatology are needed to fully understand these uncertainties. Key Points The impact of the GCM dynamical core is often overlooked in TC assessments The CAM5 dynamical core has a significant impact on TC frequency and intensity A larger effort is needed to better understand this uncertainty« less
  • The role of aerosols effect on two tropical cyclones over Bay of Bengal are investigated using a convection permitting model with two-moment mixed-phase bulk cloud microphysics scheme. The simulation results show the role of aerosol on the microphysical and dynamical properties of cloud and bring out the change in efficiency of the clouds in producing precipitation. The tracks of the TCs are hardly affected by the changing aerosol types, but the intensity exhibits significant sensitivity due to the change in aerosol contribution. It is also clearly seen from the analyses that higher heating in the middle troposphere within the cyclonemore » center is in response to latent heat release as a consequence of greater graupel formation. Greater heating in the middle level is particularly noticeable for the clean aerosol regime which causes enhanced divergence in the upper level which, in turn, forces the lower level convergence. As a result, the cleaner aerosol perturbation is more unstable within the cyclone core and produces a more intense cyclone as compared to other two perturbations of aerosol. All these studies show the robustness of the concept of TC weakening by storm ingestion of high concentrations of CCN. The consistency of these model results gives us confidence in stating there is a high probability that ingestion of high CCN concentrations in a TC will lead to weakening of the storm but has little impact on storm direction. Moreover, as pollution is increasing over the Indian sub-continent, this study suggests pollution may be weakening TCs over the Bay of Bengal.« less
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  • The northern coasts of the Gulf of Mexico are highly vulnerable to the direct threats of climate change, such as hurricane-induced storm surge, and such risks can be potentially exacerbated by land subsidence and global sea level rise. This paper presents an application of a coastal storm surge model to study the coastal inundation process induced by tide and storm surge, and its response to the effects of land subsidence and sea level rise in the northern Gulf coast. An unstructured-grid Finite Volume Coastal Ocean Model was used to simulate tides and hurricane-induced storm surges in the Gulf of Mexico.more » Simulated distributions of co-amplitude and co-phase of semi-diurnal and diurnal tides are in good agreement with previous modeling studies. The storm surges induced by four historical hurricanes (Rita, Katrina, Ivan and Dolly) were simulated and compared to observed water levels at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tide stations. Effects of coastal subsidence and future global sea level rise on coastal inundation in the Louisiana coast were evaluated using a parameter “change of inundation depth” through sensitivity simulations that were based on a projected future subsidence scenario and 1-m global sea level rise by the end of the century. Model results suggested that hurricane-induced storm surge height and coastal inundation could be exacerbated by future global sea level rise and subsidence, and that responses of storm surge and coastal inundation to the effects of sea level rise and subsidence are highly nonlinear and vary on temporal and spatial scales.« less