National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


FY 2021

Meteotsunami model forecast: Can coastal hazard be quantified in real time?

Titov, V.V., and C. Moore

Nat. Hazards, doi: 10.1007/s11069-020-04450-6, View online (2021)

A modeling study has been conducted to simulate the June 13, 2013 U.S. East Coast meteotsunami event as a test of the model forecast concept. A numerical simulation based on the MOST (Method of Splitting Tsunami) model was employed for the meteotsunami propagation forecast, while the weather radar reflection imagery was used to simulate real-time input data for the atmospheric pressure-induced tsunami generation. The model tsunami was generated by a moving pressure field during 2.87 h of forcing, and the resultant tsunami was then simulated for additional 5.68 h of propagation without any forcing for a total of 8.55 h of meteotsunami evolution from generation to coastal impact. Simulated time series were compared with the measurements from sea-level coastal gages and the Deep-ocean Assessment and Reporting for Tsunami (DART) data. The model is able to reproduce in general the recorded sea-level changes in the deep ocean and at the coast in terms of arrival times and amplitudes. The model was able to predict coastal tsunami impacts that occurred from one to two hours after the model data assimilation phase ended. Therefore, this approach shows promise for developing meteotsunami model forecast capability based on measurements and data assimilation in real time, at least for meteotsunamis generated by fast-moving weather systems visible on radar reflection imagery. All the data used in this study are already available in real time, the MOST model is already implemented as a seismically generated tsunami forecast model at the Tsunami Warning Centers (TWCs), which makes transition of potential meteotsunami forecast capability to warning operations straightforward.

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