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Expansion of USGS/NOAA Total Water Level and Coastal Change (TWL&CC) Forecasts

On Aug 28, 2020, the Director of the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) approved the extension of the USGS/NOAA Total Water Level and Coastal Change (TWL&CC) forecasts to operations at eight additional National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecasting Offices (WFO).

Map of the east US coast and Gulf of Mexico with colored lines along the coast color coded for years in yellow, blue, and red
The Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast has continually expanded since real-time forecasts began in 2015. In 2020, new regions of the Gulf and South Atlantic coasts were added to the forecast and officially approved for use in National Weather Service Forecasts. The Total Water Levels and Coastal Change (TWL-CC) Forecast Viewer is a web-based tool that visualizes forecasts of extreme water levels and coastal change along sandy shorelines based on local tides, storm surge, waves, and beach characteristics. This information is critical for protecting lives and property along our nation’s coasts, and for conducting for post-storm recovery. (Credit: Kara Doran, USGS. Public domain.)

The expansion will add an additional 1,700 km of US coastline as part of the NOAA Nearshore Wave Prediction System (NWPS) v1.3. The previous version of NWPS, v1.2, included eight forecasting offices and 3,000 km of coast.

Over the last two decades, the USGS has invested in research and development of the Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast (TWL-CC) model, a collaborative effort with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It is the only national-scale, real-time model for coastal change. The TWL-CC Forecast Viewer is a web-based platform that delivers an hourly, multi-day forecast of shoreline total water levels, based on model simulations of tides, storm surge, and offshore wave conditions from NOAA, and the probable coastal response estimated using beach characteristics and model for wave runup at the shoreline from the USGS. The forecast is used by National Weather Service (NWS) in their Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) dashboard, by local emergency planners, and is available to the general public.

To view a geonarrative about USGS tools to forecast coastal change, visit 'Real-time Forecasts of Coastal Change.'

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