Approaching the anniversary of last year’s landfall in New York City of Tropical Storm Irene, I decided to make some animations of that storm’s flood elevations and water currents. The model-based animations have voice-overs explaining what happened in the water during Irene’s journey past New Jersey, New York City and up the Hudson River. The first animation linked below is a “birds-eye view”, or plan view, showing first, storm surge height, and second, total water elevations caused by tides and storm surge. Note that the time is shown at the top, and it progresses from August 27th through 29th and it “loops” multiple times.
The next animation is a “fish-eye view”, or really a section view, looping from August 27th mid-day to August 29th mid-day, showing total water elevation, water velocity and speed, and water salinity (salt content, from 0 to 35 parts per thousand), demonstrating how the rainfall confluence in the Hudson River eventually washed it’s usual estuarine mix of seawater out completely south of Manhattan:
We just published a research paper on the storm tides across the tri-state area in the Journal of Geophysical Research. The article, “Detailed Modeling of Recent Severe Storm Tides in Estuaries of the New York City Region,” provides a summary of water elevation measurements in waterways around New York City during Hurricane Irene, which brought strong winds, heavy rainfall and near record-breaking storm tides to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Also, by conducting a series of in-depth modeling sensitivity experiments on eight tide stations, we contrast the accuracy of our computer-based storm surge forecast model, the Stevens Storm Surge Warning System, with multiple simplified versions of the model that emulate other commonly-used storm surge models.