North Atlantic Region

John Cannon, Gray Maine WFO, helping stand up a wave run-up test site in New England

John Cannon, Gray Maine WFO, helping stand up a wave run-up test site in New England

ReCo Goal: Exchange both national and regional insights to inform action.

Bob Thompson, MIC for the Taunton WFO, helping stand up a wave run-up test site in New England.

Bob Thompson, MIC for the Taunton WFO, helping stand up a wave run-up test site in New England.

NOAA’s North Atlantic Regional Team began supporting the development of a wave run-up capability for the North Atlantic all the way back in 2011. The goal is to provide NOAA meteorologists and emergency response officials with site specific coastal flood forecast data as much as three days in advance. This data will assist meteorologists with making Coastal Flood Warning decisions and emergency responders with resource decisions such as road closures and evacuations.   “We recognized fairly early on a need for taking a look at better visualization tools, like inundation mapping. At the same time, we knew we needed to go beyond static water level given the importance of wave action for the New England coastline. To better understand the role of waves, we need to understand wave run-up,” said Bob Thompson, former NART member and Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Taunton, MA Weather Forecast Office (WFO).  When Thompson rotated off the NART, he recruited Richard Okulski, Meteorologist-in-Charge of the Caribou, ME WFO to join the team and continue coordinating the regional collaboration efforts to advance wave run-up, including expansion of test sites to the Mid-Atlantic. This year, team efforts culminated in the NOAA Coastal Hazards Resilience Workshop: Rip Currents and Wave Run-up workshop, held on April 14-16, at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center on the Old Dominion University campus in Suffolk, Virginia. The workshop was held to assist NOAA in further developing and improving strategies to mitigate problems associated with rip currents and wave run-up and was co-sponsored by the North Atlantic and Southeast & Caribbean Regional Teams, the NOAA Coastal Storms Program, and the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Office of Science and Technology Integration. Approximately 80 participants attended the workshop. Wave run-up was the topic of discussion on Day 3 and a subset of workshop attendees participated in an offsite wave run-up field experiment. The transition to experimental operations begins in FY16.

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