Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Trapped Wave' Caused Unexpected Dennis Surge, Scientists Say

Date:
October 11, 2006
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
When Hurricane Dennis passed North Florida on July 10, 2005, it caused a 10-foot storm surge in some areas along Apalachee Bay -- about 3 to 4 feet more than forecasted -- that couldn't be explained only by the local winds that conventionally drive storm surge. Now, scientists at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla., and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have found that the surge in Apalachee Bay was amplified by a "trapped wave" that originated off the southwest Florida coast.

When Hurricane Dennis passed North Florida on July 10, 2005, it caused a 10-foot storm surge in some areas along Apalachee Bay -- about 3 to 4 feet more than forecasted-- that couldn't be explained only by the local winds that conventionally drive storm surge.

Now, scientists at Florida State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have found that the surge in Apalachee Bay was amplified by a "trapped wave" that originated off the southwest Florida coast. The discovery of this previously undocumented storm surge phenomenon has changed how NOAA's National Hurricane Center prepares storm surge models for the Gulf of Mexico. New modeling procedures will help improve the accuracy of storm surge forecasts for the entire Gulf coast from Florida to Texas.

Scientists Steven Morey, Mark Bourassa, Dmitry Dukhovskoy and James O'Brien of FSU's Center for Ocean Atmospheric Prediction Studies and Stephen Baig of NOAA's Tropical Prediction Center of the National Hurricane Center drew their conclusions after conducting numerical experiments with storm surge models. Their research was published in the Oct. 4 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Hurricane Dennis formed from a tropical depression that originated near the southern Windward Islands on July 4, 2005. It strengthened as it traveled northwest through the Caribbean Sea until it made landfall in Cuba as a Category 4 hurricane. It then traveled west of the Florida Shelf, and the storm's maximum sustained winds weakened to 54 mph before it made landfall on the western Florida Panhandle.

"Winds from Dennis forced water against the southwestern Florida coast creating a bulge of high sea level from Naples to around Tampa," Morey explained. "Oceanographers know that this 'bulge' will form a long wave that, in the Northern Hemisphere, will travel as a wave with the coast to the right. Because Dennis traveled nearly parallel to the Florida Peninsula coast at the same speed as the wave, winds from Dennis amplified the wave as it traveled to Apalachee Bay."

The trapped wave then piled up on the shore along Apalachee Bay on top of the surge generated by the winds over the bay, according to O'Brien.

"To address these findings, we will use as necessary a larger geographical grid in our operational storm surge model in the Gulf of Mexico," said Baig, oceanographer and storm surge leader at NOAA's National Hurricane Center. "This will provide a more comprehensive view of a storm's potential impact in the Gulf by better accounting for the rare trapped wave effect."

This type of remotely trapped wave could play a role in future storms that follow a path similar to Hurricane Dennis or travel westward south of the Louisiana coastline toward Texas, the scientists said.

Funding from a NOAA Applied Research Center grant supported the research. Wind fields for the study were developed under funding by NASA and the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "'Trapped Wave' Caused Unexpected Dennis Surge, Scientists Say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061010022518.htm>.
Florida State University. (2006, October 11). 'Trapped Wave' Caused Unexpected Dennis Surge, Scientists Say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061010022518.htm
Florida State University. "'Trapped Wave' Caused Unexpected Dennis Surge, Scientists Say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061010022518.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins