May 1, 2024
Journal Article

Delayed coastal inundations caused by ocean dynamics post-Hurricane Matthew


Post Hurricane Abnormal Water Level (PHAWL) poses a persistent inundation threat to coastal communities, yet unresolved knowledge gaps exist regarding its spatiotemporal impacts and causal mechanisms. Using a high-resolution coastal model with a set of observations, we find that the PHAWLs are up to 50 cm higher than the normal water levels for several weeks and cause delayed inundations around residential areas of the U.S. Southeast Coast (USSC). Numerical experiments reveal that while atmospheric forcing modulates the coastal PHAWLs, ocean dynamics primarily driven by the Gulf Stream control the mean component and duration of the shelf-scale PHAWLs. Because of the large spatial impact of the post-hurricane oceanic forcing, the coastal hazards are not limited to a direct hit from a hurricane but can be detected throughout the USSC where the oceanic processes reach.

Published: May 1, 2024


Park K., E. Di Lorenzo, Y.J. Zhang, H.V. Wang, T. Ezer, and F. Ye. 2024. Delayed coastal inundations caused by ocean dynamics post-Hurricane Matthew. npj Climate and Atmospheric Science 7, no. 1:Art. No. 5. PNNL-SA-193289. doi:10.1038/s41612-023-00549-2

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