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This research involves the creation of a new storm surge index that incorporates many variables important in storm surge generation like maximum winds, radius of maximum winds, pressure, translation speed, and bathymetry. Using a two-dimensional, barotropic ocean model, power laws have been developed that describe the relationship between storm surge and changes in maximum wind, radius of maximum winds, pressure, and bathymetry. Direct curve fitting is used to describe the relationship between storm surge and changes in translation speed since a power-law relationship does not exist in that case. A database of 39 landfalling, United States hurricanes between 1986 and 2007 is used to evaluate the quality of the index. Storm parameters for all database storms are compiled using the extended best track dataset, and an index value is calculated for each storm in the database. Correlation analysis is then performed using the index values and observed maximum storm surge heights. Finally, an extensive error analysis is presented to demonstrate uncertainties in the index in both forecast and post-analysis situations.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Meteorology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Carol Anne Clayson, Professor Directing Dissertation; Jennifer Georgen, Outside Committee Member; Robert Hart, Committee Member; Paul Ruscher, Committee Member; Peter Ray, Committee Member; Steven Cocke, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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