Philip Orton, a Principal Investigator with Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN), a NOAA RISA team, recently co-authored a study titled “Ensemble Forecast for Storm Tide and Resurgence from Tropical Cyclone Isaias”. Ensemble forecasting is a method of modeling that combines multiple forecasts to provide a given range of potential flooding outcomes. Broken down into super-ensembles and sub-ensembles, a single ensemble forecast (sub-ensemble) can also be combined with others to create a super-ensemble prediction model.
The research team who authored the study used the Stevens Flood Advisory System (SFAS) to evaluate its prediction of storm tide and resurgence based on total water levels of the broad coastal region and street-scale flood events along the New York Harbor (NYH) during Tropical Cyclone Isaias (2020). The study determined that for Isaias the use of ensemble averaging with multiple meteorological forcing systems such as SFAS was shown to be a better predictor of uncertainties than sub-ensembles based on a single forcing system. These results support ensemble forecasts as a significant advancement for improved predictions used in emergency management decisions for early warning systems such as evacuations or deployment of flood gates and barriers for coastal communities and critical infrastructure sites.
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