As Hurricane Ian 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).
Coastal Change Hazards Team Forecasted Hurricane Ian Beach Impacts
Prior to landfall on the southwest coast of the Florida peninsula on September 28, 2022, the Coastal Change Hazards Team forecast that 69 percent of beaches were very likely to erode at the dunes’ base, 58 percent of dunes were forecast to be very likely to be overwashed by storm waves, and 50 percent of dunes were expected to be very likely to be inundated (completely submerged) by surge, tide, and waves given worst-case scenario surge and timing of the storm. Prior to landfall in South Carolina on September 30, 2022, the Coastal Change Hazards Team forecast that 66 percent of Georgia beaches, 97 percent of South Carolina beaches, and 27 percent of North Carolina beaches were very likely to erode at the dunes’ base. 15 percent of dunes in Georgia, 58 percent of dunes in South Carolina and 2 percent of dunes in North Carolina were forecast to be very likely to be overwashed by storm waves. 11 percent of dunes in South Carolina were expected to be very likely to be inundated (completely submerged) by surge, tide, and waves given worst-case scenario surge and timing of the storm. No dunes in Georgia and North Carolina were expected to be inundated. These forecasts were part of a USGS News Release and were highlighted on CNN and local news stations in South Carolina, as well as on WGCU public radio in Ft. Myers, FL. In addition to special forecasts focused on impacts at the peak of the storm, real-time forecasts were also ongoing in the Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast Viewer. In addition to informing the public, forecasts were used to determine placement of sensors for USGS real-time response to Hurricane Ian. 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 2011 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.