In this project, we aim to enable better understanding and predictive ability of hurricane impacts, to serve and protect coastal communities.
To tackle this monumental challenge, NOPP Hurricane Coastal Impacts (NHCI) is composed of 10 teams that will work cohesively to produce research-grade forecasts and quantitative evaluation of performance.
Extreme weather events like hurricanes are costly to society - causing loss of life, property damage, and disruption of local economies. In the US alone, economic damages associated with extreme weather have exceeded 1.8 trillion dollars since 1980 (NCEI 2021), with an average of seven disasters and damages exceeding $1 billion annually since 1980. With the ongoing changes in our climate system and the continued warming of our ocean waters, it is expected that the intensity and frequency of extreme events will increase (e.g. Kossin et al., 2020).
Within this context, improved understanding and predictability of these events, and particularly their impacts on land, is critical to many aspects of American life.
While hurricane paths and intensity forecasts have improved considerably over the last decade, uncertainty remains as to what will actually happen above sea level, on land. Specifically:
The greatest uncertainties when it comes to hurricane impacts are not necessarily just in the numerical models, but on land. There are different land factors that affect forecasting of impacts, including:
Teams will address these challenging uncertainties as part of an end-to-end collaborative project to produce more accurate forecasts of coastal impacts from hurricanes.
NHCI will begin to predict hurricane coastal impacts during the hurricane seasons of 2022-2024. These will be “research-grade” forecasts (not to be confused with National Hurricane Center operational forecasts) and will facilate innovation in our ability to better prepare coastal communities for extreme weather events.