Coastal video screen shotA team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence and Renaissance Computing Institute are running the ADCIRC storm surge computer model every six hours to predict potential storm surge, waves and flooding along the U.S. East Coast caused by Hurricane Joaquin.

ADCIRC is a leading computer model for storm surge studies in the U.S. and was developed at UNC-Chapel Hill by Rick Luettich, professor of marine sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences director of the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences.

Results generated by ADCIRC are used by multiple federal and state agencies to help predict flooding associated with storm surge.

Rick Luettich
Rick Luettich

The forecast track of Hurricane Joaquin remains uncertain due to a complex combination of weather patterns that will determine the storms ultimate trajectory. The impact on a specific coastal area will vary significantly depending on the storm’s actual track, strength, size and forward speed.

ADCIRC model runs are initiated every time a new storm forecast is released by the National Hurricane Center. On the National Hurricane Center’s 11:00 a.m. forecast track, storm surge of two to three feet above normal high tide are predicted along the North Carolina Outer Banks and four to five feet above normal high tide along the mid-Atlantic coast. Trajectories that bring the storm closer to the North Carolina – Virginia coasts could result in storm surge up to 10 feet above normal high tide.

Results of the forecast track and several alternate tracks can be accessed from the adcirc.org website.

The Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence is funded by the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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