Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

As Hurricane Idalia approached the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and then the southeast Atlantic coast, the USGS Coastal Change Hazards team produced a series of forecasts for impacts on the beach. Forecasts were updated daily based on wave and storm surge forecasts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

A screen shot of computer tool shows selected areas (left) and total water level forecast for Madeira Beach Florida (right)
The Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer prior to landfall of Hurricane Idalia on the Gulf coast of the Florida.

Prior to landfall on the Gulf coast of the Florida peninsula on August 30, 2023, the Coastal Change Hazards Team forecast that 95 percent of beaches were forecast to erode at the dunes’ base, 20 percent of dunes were forecast to be overwashed by storm waves, and 1 percent of dunes were expected to be inundated (completely submerged) by surge, tide, and waves. These forecasts were part of a USGS News Release and were highlighted on Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay. These real-time forecasts were ongoing in the Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer. After landfall of a storm, the Coastal Change Hazards team uses NOAA imagery, USGS CoastCams, other beach cams, Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) constructed from post-storm aerial imagery and lidar data, and observations from USGS sensors to validate forecasts. The USGS Coastal Change Forecast model is used to estimate the impacts of elevated waves and storm surge along the coast due to extreme storms. This model has been in use since 2015 and is continually improved.

Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.