An Integrated Scenario Ensemble‐Based Framework for Hurricane Evacuation Modeling: Part 2—Hazard Modeling
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An Integrated Scenario Ensemble‐Based Framework for Hurricane Evacuation Modeling: Part 2—Hazard Modeling

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  • Journal Title:
    Risk Analysis
  • Description:
    Hurricane track and intensity can change rapidly in unexpected ways, thus making predictions of hurricanes and related hazards uncertain. This inherent uncertainty often translates into suboptimal decision‐making outcomes, such as unnecessary evacuation. Representing this uncertainty is thus critical in evacuation planning and related activities. We describe a physics‐based hazard modeling approach that (1) dynamically accounts for the physical interactions among hazard components and (2) captures hurricane evolution uncertainty using an ensemble method. This loosely coupled model system provides a framework for probabilistic water inundation and wind speed levels for a new, risk‐based approach to evacuation modeling, described in a companion article in this issue. It combines the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) meteorological model, the Coupled Routing and Excess STorage (CREST) hydrologic model, and the ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) storm surge, tide, and wind‐wave model to compute inundation levels and wind speeds for an ensemble of hurricane predictions. Perturbations to WRF's initial and boundary conditions and different model physics/parameterizations generate an ensemble of storm solutions, which are then used to drive the coupled hydrologic + hydrodynamic models. Hurricane Isabel (2003) is used as a case study to illustrate the ensemble‐based approach. The inundation, river runoff, and wind hazard results are strongly dependent on the accuracy of the mesoscale meteorological simulations, which improves with decreasing lead time to hurricane landfall. The ensemble envelope brackets the observed behavior while providing “best‐case” and “worst‐case” scenarios for the subsequent risk‐based evacuation model.
  • Source:
    Risk Analysis (2020) 40(1): 117-133, 2020.
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