National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2021

Addressing the meteotsunami risk in the United States

Angove, M., L. Kozlosky, P. Chu, G. Dusek, G. Mann, E. Anderson, J. Gridley, D. Arcas, V. Titov, M. Eble, K. McMahon, B. Hirsch, and W. Zaleski

Nat. Hazards, 106(2), 1467–1487, doi: 10.1007/s11069-020-04499-3, View online (open access) (2021)

Meteotsunamis are created by transitory weather disturbances moving over water, have a long history of impacting the United States (U.S.) and have resulted in loss of life and property. Many of these events have been historically mischaracterized as seiches, anomalous weather-related waves, or ignored altogether. In this paper, we review meteotsunami generation mechanisms common in the U.S. and highlight several classic historical cases of U.S. meteotsunami formation and impact. We then describe recent advances in sensing and understanding that led to the establishment of initial, rudimentary alerting capabilities for the U.S. Great Lakes and U.S. East Coast. Finally, we describe the major challenges and gaps that must be overcome to move the U.S. toward a comprehensive meteotsunami forecast and warning capability. We also discuss how we envision the various relevant offices of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration (NOAA) working together to achieve this vision. These offices include the NOAA research laboratories, national weather service (NWS) Weather Forecast Offices and National Centers, National Ocean Service Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services and NWS Tsunami Warning Centers.

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