November Noreaster

November 29, 2009. Poquoson, Virginia
WeatherFlow recently provided operational meteorological  guidance, mesoscale modeling support, and coordination for sensor deployment to the United States Geological Survey during a major Nor’Easter that affected large portions of the lower Chesapeake Bay. The event occurred over a 3-day span from the 11th to 13th of November, brought localized rainfall totals in excess of 10 inches, and resulted in near-record tidal flooding.

WeatherFlow observations and WeatherFlow Regional Atmospheric Model System (WRAMS) mesoscale model data was used as input into two flooding models, one of which is operated by Dr. Harry Wang of the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences.  The collaboration was born as a component of the Chesapeake Bay Inundation Prediction System (CIPS), which operates under the aegis of the Chesapeake Bay Observing System (CBOS).  Both are funded by NOAA’s Interagency Oceanographic Observing System (IOOS) program, and CIPS is one of several IOOS efforts focused on improving coastal flooding forecasts.

One of the unique features of the CIPS approach is its ability to include multiple atmospheric models as inputs into multiple flooding models which, in effect, provide an ensemble approach to flooding forecasts. Its specific operational objectives are to provide more accurate water level forecasts with reduced uncertainty and high spatial accuracy. Tentative results from this event were presented to NOAA officials early in December.

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