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An evaluation of the effect of bottom friction, wind drag coefficient, and meteorological forcing is conducted using a tightly coupled wave and circulation model, SWAN + ADCIRC (i.e., Simulating WAves Nearshore + ADvanced CIRCulation), to hindcast the storm surge of Hurricane Rita (2005). Wind drag coefficient formulations of Powell, Zijlema, and Peng & Li are used to calculate wind stresses. Bottom friction and wind drag coefficients are systematically increased and decreased to quantify their impacts on the hindcast. Different meteorological forcing options are applied to study the effect of wind fields on storm surge development and propagation. Simulated water levels are compared with observed data collected from about 150 locations. It is evident that a lower bottom friction causes higher and faster surge propagation, and earlier arrival of inundation peak at locations far from the land fall. Drag coefficients of Powell, with or without a cap of 0.002, and Zijlema produce similar results, while that of Peng & Li slightly overpredicted the surge. Wind fields may cause overprediction or underprediction of the surge, depending on the choice of the wind model. A good agreement is found between Zijlema’s findings and this study; that simultaneously decreasing or increasing both bottom friction and wind drag essentially provides the same hindcast results.