Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-31
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-31

  29 Jan 2021

29 Jan 2021

Review status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal NHESS and is expected to appear here in due course.

Spatially Compounded Surge Events: An Example from Hurricanes Matthew and Florence

Scott Curtis1, Kelley DePolt2, Jamie Kruse3, Anuradha Mukherji2, Jennifer Helgeson4, Ausmita Ghosh3, and Philip Van Wagoner2 Scott Curtis et al.
  • 1Department of Physics and Lt. Col. James B. Near, Jr., USAF, ’77 Center for Climate Studies, The Citadel, Charleston, SC, 29409, USA
  • 2Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, 27858, USA
  • 3Department of Economics, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, 27858, USA
  • 4Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, 20899, USA

Abstract. The simultaneous rise of tropical cyclone induced flood waters across a large hazard management domain can stretch rescue and recovery efforts. Here we present a means to quantify the connectedness of maximum surge during a storm with geospatial statistics. Tide gauges throughout the extensive estuaries and barrier islands of North Carolina deployed and operating during Hurricanes Matthew (n = 82) and Florence (n = 123) are used to compare the spatial compounding of surge for these two disasters. Moran's I showed the occurrence of maximum storm tide was more clustered for Matthew compared to Florence, and a semivariogram analysis produced a spatial range of similarly timed storm tide that was four times as large for Matthew than Florence. A more limited data set of fluvial flooding and precipitation in eastern North Carolina showed a consistent result – multivariate flood sources associated with Matthew were more concentrated in time as compared to Florence. Although Matthew and Florence were equally intense, they had very different tracks and speeds, which influenced the timing of surge along the coast. We hope this method could be used for other landfalling tropical cyclones to better understand the drivers that lead to spatially compounded surge events.

Scott Curtis et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-31', Anonymous Referee #1, 23 Feb 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Scott Curtis, 24 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-31', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Mar 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Scott Curtis, 24 Mar 2021

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-31', Anonymous Referee #1, 23 Feb 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Scott Curtis, 24 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-31', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Mar 2021
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Scott Curtis, 24 Mar 2021

Scott Curtis et al.

Scott Curtis et al.

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Short summary
Storm surge flooding can challenge rescue and recovery operations, especially over large estuaries and populated barrier islands. Understanding the relationship between storm and tidal characteristics and surge timing is important for proper resourcing prior to an event. Here we compare the concurrency of maximum observed surge and areal extent of effective hazard operations for Hurricanes Matthew and Florence in eastern North Carolina, USA. Matthew was a more spatially compounded surge event.
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