Coastal Flooding and Erosion Forecast - Location Portland, ME

Water Level & Wave Height Interaction Nomogram:

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Project Overview:

An empirical relationship exists between storm tide, waves and coastal flooding or splash-over damage (NWS coastal flood study). Knowing this relationship will help predict when flooding and splash-over events (such as beach erosion) might occur based on forecast water level (tide height) and wave height data.

Working with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, NERACOOS and modelers in the Northeast region, a working protoype was developed using a water level model (NECOFS/FVCOM) and wave model (Wave Watch 3). This prototype currently working for Portland, Maine and Scituate, Massachusetts locations. We hope to expand to other regions depending on need. For more information on how to read the nomogram, click here.

This product could be used by emergency managers, coastal homeowners and other users with interest and concern about beach erosion from large-wave storms.

During the Patriot's Day Storm, there were four high-tide cycles in which the water level was near or above flood stage and the waves were greater than 20' in height. This combination caused the tremendous amounts of coastal damage seen during the storm. The Coastal Flooding and Erosion Forecast System actually predicted days in advance of the Patriot's Day Storm that there was a high likelihood of this damage occurring. This capacity is extremely important to coastal property owners and emergency responders, resulting in dollars and lives saved.

For more information on the science behind this diagram:

Comprehensive Study on Northern New England Coastal Flooding John Cannon, NOAA/National Weather Service Forecast Office, Gray, Maine

A Glimpse of the Future Web - Forecasting storm damage on the Maine coast by Philip Bogden, John Cannon, Riley Young Morse, Ian Ogilvie, Brian Blanton and William Perrie, Journal of Ocean Technology 2008, volume 3, number 3