Hurricane storm surges are influenced by wind intensity, forward speed, width and slope of the ocean bottom, central pressure, angle of approach, shape of coastal lines, local features, and storm size. A numerical experiment is conducted using the Advanced Circulation + Simulation and Simulating Waves Nearshore (ADCIRC + SWAN) coupled model for understanding the effects of wind intensity, forward speed, and wave on the storm surges caused by Hurricane Harvey. The ADCIRC + SWAN is used to simulate hurricane storm surges and waves. The wind fields of Hurricane Harvey were reconstructed from observed data, aided by a variety of methodologies and analyses conducted by Ocean Weather Inc (OWI) after the event. These reconstructed wind fields were used as the meteorological forcing in the base case in ADCIRC+SWAN to investigate the storm surges caused by the hurricane. Hurricane Harvey was the second most costly hurricane in the United States, causing severe urban flooding by dropping more than 60 inches of rainfall in Texas. The hurricane made three landfalls, with its first landfall as a Category 4 based on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (SSHWS), with wind intensities of 212.98 km/h (59 m/s). The storm surges caused by Hurricane Harvey were unique due to the slow speed, crooked tracks, triple landfalls in the USA, and excessive rain. The model’s storm surge and wave results were compared against observed data. High water marks at 21 locations and time series at 12 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gauges were compared with the generated results. Several cases were investigated by increasing or decreasing the wind intensity or hurricane forward speed by 25% of the OWI wind and pressure data. The effects of the wave were analyzed by comparing the results obtained from ADCIRC + SWAN (with waves) and ADCIRC (without waves) models. The study found that the changes in wind intensity had the most significant effect on storm surges, followed by wave and forward speed changes. This study signifies the importance of considering these factors to enhance accuracy in predicting storm surges.
Shamsu, M.; Akbar, M. Understanding the Effects of Wind Intensity, Forward Speed, and Wave on the Propagation of Hurricane Harvey Surges. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2023, 11, 1429. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse11071429