SPCMSC Research Oceanographer gives invited presentation at the NOAA Coastal Coupling Community of Practice meeting

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On May 13, 2021, SPCMSC Research Oceanographer Meg Palmsten presented a virtual talk titled, “Forecasting total water levels and coastal change hazards.”

Dune crest elevations that are part of the USGS Total Water and Coastal Change Forecast

Dune crest elevations (or the height of the top of sand dunes) collected by USGS are a key component of the Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer, a tool developed by USGS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The viewer provides real-time total water levels and forecasts of coastal change based on local beach characteristics. Here, dune crest elevations are displayed for sandy coasts along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts. (Public domain.)

The Coastal Coupling Community of Practice (CC CoP) was formed to link academics and government scientists focused on developing accurate water forecasts. Coupled forecasts are required to provide skillful representations of complex riverine estuarine and coastal processes. The annual CC CoP provides a forum for the community to share recent scientific progress as well as shape the direction of future research while considering stakeholder-driven requirements. Palmsten was invited to present on recent technical progress and collaboration on the USGS/NOAA Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast. Palmsten described the initial development of the Forecast, based on requests by National Weather Service forecasters and highlighted the close relationship with NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction required to produce the forecast. During the presenation, Palmsten outlined the framework for the modeling system, pointing out the different elements that each partner contributes. She also presented a recent case study of a forecast, skill assessment efforts at Madeira Beach, FL, and ongoing work to expand the forecast to to the US west coast, Alaska, and coral reef-lined shorelines in US territories. 

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Date published: January 19, 2018

Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer

Total water level (TWL) at the shoreline is the combination of tides, surge, and wave runup. A forecast of TWL is an estimate of the elevation where the ocean will meet the coast and can provide guidance on potential coastal erosion and flooding hazards.