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Storm surge causes most damage due to tropical cyclones. Accurate surge forecast is critical for the protection of life and property. Storm surge predictions are normally made at the National Hurricane Center using a model developed at the Technology Development Lab. (TDL) of NOAA. However, surges on the soundside of Outer Banks, North Carolina were subjectively predicted based on the experience of regional forecasters until 1992. In the middle of 1992, a dynamic storm surge model for the CAPES system was developed at North Carolina State University. This model was subsequently enhanced and maintained at CFDL. The first real-time test of the CAPES storm surge model was carried out in the summer of 1993 during the passage of hurricane Emily off North Carolina coastal waters. That prediction, which was used by the National Weather Service's Raleigh Weather Forecast Office (NWS Raleigh WFO), was within 1 ft of post-storm high-water mark data (<10% error). Encouraged by this initial test, CFDL scientists teamed with forecasters at NWS Raleigh WFO, conducted numerous real time storm surge forecasts since 1993 and all cases have been verified well with post-storm observations. For a complete loop of storm surge forecast made during hurricane Fran, click the title image. 8-9 ft of surge along the western portion of the Pamlico Sound (red) was very well predicted and verified.

Air-sea coupling

Estuary modeling

Response to hurricanes

Storm surge

Gulf Stream and shelf fronts

Trajectory and dispersion

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