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Graeme D. Hubbert, Greg J. Holland, Lance M. Leslie, and Michael J. Manton

Abstract

The depth-averaged, numerical storm-surge model developed by Hubbert et al. (1990) has been configured to provide a stand-alone system to forecast tropical cyclone storm surges. The atmospheric surface pressure and surface winds are derived from the analytical-empirical model of Holland (1980) and require only cyclone positions, central pressures, and radii of maximum winds. The model has been adapted to run on personal computers in a few minutes so that multiple forecast scenarios can be tested in a forecast office in real time.

The storm surge model was tested in hindcast mode on four Australian tropical cyclones. For these case studies the model predicted the sea surface elevations and arrival times of surge peaks accurately, with typical elevation errors of 0.1 to 0.2 m and arrival time errors of no more than 1 h. Second order effects, such as coastally-trapped waves, were also well simulated. The model is now being used by the Australian Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWC's) for operational forecasting. It will also be released as part of a tropical cyclone workstation that has recently been recommended for use by WMO member nations.

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