NSSL Hot Item

2012 Atlantic hurricane season to provide CI-FLOW research opportunity

The goal during the 2012 hurricane season is to produce realistic simulations of total water level in real time for coastal storms. National Weather Service forecasters will have access to CI-FLOW during these events to help them evaluate the system for application in the flood and flash-flood warning process.

CI-FLOW is a demonstration project that captures the complex interaction between rainfall, river flows, waves, tides and storm surge, and how these factors affect water levels in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse rivers and the Pamlico Sound in North Carolina.

CI-FLOW was tested in August 2011 as Hurricane Irene made landfall near Morehead City, NC. CI-FLOW total water-level simulations were compared with water levels observed during the storm. Researchers found a high level of agreement in both the timing and water-level heights for the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse coastal watershed.

The CI-FLOW project is motivated by NOAA’s critical forecast need for detailed water-level predictions in coastal areas and has a vision to transition CI-FLOW research findings and technologies to other U.S. coastal watersheds.

This real-time demonstration will offer valuable insight on the accuracy and utility of total water level predictions for communities in the coastal plain of the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse rivers and the Pamlico Sound. Real-time simulations of coastal water levels for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season are available on the CI-FLOW website (https://secure.nssl.noaa.gov/projects/ciflow/). The site also includes an introductory video that highlights the flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999 and the response from Sea Grant and NOAA partners. (http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/ciflow/)

CI-FLOW’s unique interdisciplinary team is lead by NOAA NSSL and includes the NOAA NWS, NOAA Sea Grant, NOAA Cooperative Institutes, and other local, state, regional, academic and federal partners.