USGS advances forecast capabilities of coastal storm impacts

Last edited 09/05/2019
Contact Information

Contact: Hilary Stockdon (USGS),,  (727) 502-8074

For the first time, real-time forecasts of coastal erosion, made using U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) models of coastal change combined with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) storm surge and wave analysis, will be available approximately 48 hours before a hurricane makes landfall, providing coastal planners and emergency managers with a more accurate information about coastal erosion hazards posed by an approaching storm.

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) models of storm-induced coastal change, combined with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) storm surge and wave forecasts, will be available prior to major hurricane landfall to provide more information about the location and type of extreme coastal erosion that can be expected. Long term research programs combined with supplemental funds from the Hurricane Sandy recovery have allowed for the development of improved coastal change forecast models and accelerated model updates that for the first time automatically update using inputs from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.  These models are posted to the USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal  allowing for timely access to forecasts that assist local officials with identification of areas where storm impacts pose the greatest threats for erosion, inundation, wave damage, or even breaching of coastal areas. While these models continue to improve our understanding of extreme storm processes as well as improve the accuracy of assessments of storm-induced coastal change, the portal also gives the public, scientists and coastal managers tools to visualize a range of coastal changes caused by major storms, sea-level rise, and other long-term processes. This capability allows scientists to describe the relative vulnerabilities of US coastlines to coastal change hazards in a nationally consistent way and, by coordinating with other federal and local partners, this effort will assist in making our nation and coastal communities not only more resistant to storms but also to longer term impacts like sea-level rise.


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