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Dissecting and Classifying the Impacts of Historic Hurricanes on Estuarine Systems. J. Court Stevenson University of Maryland Center for Environmental.

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Presentation on theme: "Dissecting and Classifying the Impacts of Historic Hurricanes on Estuarine Systems. J. Court Stevenson University of Maryland Center for Environmental."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dissecting and Classifying the Impacts of Historic Hurricanes on Estuarine Systems. J. Court Stevenson University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Michael S. Kearney Department of Geography University of Maryland

2 Outline Impacts of various areas in Maryland and Virginia from waves and storm surge (déjà vu all over again)Impacts of various areas in Maryland and Virginia from waves and storm surge (déjà vu all over again) Roles played by precipitation, wind, and waves in Chesapeake hurricanes and tropical stormsRoles played by precipitation, wind, and waves in Chesapeake hurricanes and tropical storms –Wave setup Influence of sea level riseInfluence of sea level rise Classification of storms by track and type of damageClassification of storms by track and type of damage Frequency of different types of stormsFrequency of different types of storms –20 th century –Late 19 th century

3 “Sir having this opportunity, I cannot but acquaint you with the relation of a very strange tempest which hath been in these parts with us called a hurricane which had began August 27 th and continued with such violence, that it overturned many houses, burying in the ruines much goods and many people, beating to the ground such as were any wayes employed in the fields, blowing many cattle that were near the sea or rivers, into them., whereby unknown numbers have perished, to the great afflication of all people, few having escaped who have not suffered in their persons or estates, much corn was blown away, and great quantities of tobacco have been lost, to the great damage of many, and utter undoing of others. Neither did it end here, but the trees were torn up by the roots, and in many places whole woods blown down so that they cannot go from plantation to plantation. The sea, by the violence of the wind, swelled twelve feet above its usual height drowning the whole country before it, with many of the inhabitants, their cattle and goods, the rest being forced to save themselves in the mountains nearest adjoining, while they were forced to remain many days together in great want.”[i] “Sir having this opportunity, I cannot but acquaint you with the relation of a very strange tempest which hath been in these parts with us called a hurricane which had began August 27 th and continued with such violence, that it overturned many houses, burying in the ruines much goods and many people, beating to the ground such as were any wayes employed in the fields, blowing many cattle that were near the sea or rivers, into them., whereby unknown numbers have perished, to the great afflication of all people, few having escaped who have not suffered in their persons or estates, much corn was blown away, and great quantities of tobacco have been lost, to the great damage of many, and utter undoing of others. Neither did it end here, but the trees were torn up by the roots, and in many places whole woods blown down so that they cannot go from plantation to plantation. The sea, by the violence of the wind, swelled twelve feet above its usual height drowning the whole country before it, with many of the inhabitants, their cattle and goods, the rest being forced to save themselves in the mountains nearest adjoining, while they were forced to remain many days together in great want.”[i][i] [i] Truit, R.V. 1967. High Winds and Waves: A Chronicle of Maryland’s Coastal Hurricanes. Natural Resources Institute, University of Maryland Press, [i] The Great 1667 Hurricane

4 Large waves have historically been devastating Galveston Island, Texas, Sept 8 1900 during a Category 4 hurricane

5 Hurricane Floyd (1999) caused massive flooding in North Carolina

6 Impacts on Maryland and Virginia Pictures from Annapolis, Maryland Eastern Shore, Southern Virginia, and Hog Island

7 Isabel: surge height and impact Annapolis Horn Point Cambridge Photo: Monica SalernoPhoto: Don MerrittPhoto: Don Boesch Cambridge tide gauge Data: PSMSL

8 NOAA Tide Gauge at Gloucester Point During Isabel

9 Damage In Virginia from Isabel

10 Before After During Isabel and the South Part of Hog Island, Virginia Photos: John Porter, University of Virginia

11 Classification of Hurricane/Tropical Storms Relative Impacts on Chesapeake Bay “Backdoor” Storms – originating in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic hurricanes which landfall in Georgia or South Carolina, having moved considerably inland before reaching the middle Atlantic Coast“Backdoor” Storms – originating in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic hurricanes which landfall in Georgia or South Carolina, having moved considerably inland before reaching the middle Atlantic Coast –Precipitation events with runoff, more likely to produce Bay-wide if track crosses upper Bay Outer Banks LandfallOuter Banks Landfall –Lower Outer Banks – tend to track along lower Virginia Eastern Shore storm surge and waves affecting lower Bay –Upper Outer Banks – tend to track west subparallel of Chesapeake Bay, storm surge and waves affecting upper and middle Bay (exception Connie in 1955)

12 The Role of Precipitation Many long-term residents vividly remember Tropical Storm record holder for the most inches of rainfall per hour in the upper Bay Ten Heaviest Rains in Virginia from Tropical Cyclones and their RemnantsTen Heaviest Rains in Virginia from Tropical Cyclones and their Remnants Amount Dates Location 27.00" 8/19-20/1969 Nelson County 19.77" 11/02-07/1985 2 NE Montebello 18.13" 9/14-16/1999 Yorktown 16.57" 9/14-16/1999 Newport News 16.00" 6/17-24/1972 Chantilly 14.30" 9/14-16/1999 James City 14.30" 9/05-09/1996 Tom's Branch 14.18" 6/17-24/1972 Centreville 14.17" 9/05-09/1996 Luray 5 SE 13.60" 6/17-24/1972 Big MeadowsAmount Dates Location 27.00" 8/19-20/1969 Nelson County 19.77" 11/02-07/1985 2 NE Montebello 18.13" 9/14-16/1999 Yorktown 16.57" 9/14-16/1999 Newport News 16.00" 6/17-24/1972 Chantilly 14.30" 9/14-16/1999 James City 14.30" 9/05-09/1996 Tom's Branch 14.18" 6/17-24/1972 Centreville 14.17" 9/05-09/1996 Luray 5 SE 13.60" 6/17-24/1972 Big Meadows The data above suggest that three classes can be used for our hurricane classification system: P Class #1 = 0-10”, P Class#2 = 10-20” and P Class#3 > 20”The data above suggest that three classes can be used for our hurricane classification system: P Class #1 = 0-10”, P Class#2 = 10-20” and P Class#3 > 20”

13 Potomac River During 1933 “Storm King” Hurricane

14 Flood Damage From Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972

15 The Role of Wind Storm Tide: winds piling up water on the shore – more effective than drop in pressure. Even a pressure as low as 27.93 inches would only produce a 2.5 foot rise in water levelStorm Tide: winds piling up water on the shore – more effective than drop in pressure. Even a pressure as low as 27.93 inches would only produce a 2.5 foot rise in water level In 1928, hurricane blowing across Lake Okeechobee produced a surge that killed 1,835 peopleIn 1928, hurricane blowing across Lake Okeechobee produced a surge that killed 1,835 people

16 Saffir-Simpson Scale Tropical Storms = Winds < 74 mph Class #1= Winds < 95 mph (119 km hr -1 ) Category 1 = Winds 74-95 mph Category 2 = Winds 96-110 mph Class #2 = Winds 96-130 mph (154-209 km hr -1 ) Category 3 = Winds 111- 130 mph Category 4 = Winds 131 – 155 mph Class #3 = Winds >130 mph (>209 km hr -1 ) Category 5 = Winds > 155 mph

17 The Role of Waves Waves ride on top of the storm surge –Galveston Hurricane is a classic example –Increased flooding As sea level rises, greater depths of water increase the potential for generation of larger waves from the same wind field –Increases the flood risk

18 Wave setup can compound the effect of sea level rise Large waves moving directly onshore Waves from Hurricane Isabel on North Carolina’s coast

19 Mean sea level has risen 30 cm (1 foot) over the last century Baltimore tide gauge PSMSL data

20 Temperature and sea level will continue to rise Mid-Atlantic Yeartemperature rise (projected) 20301.0 °C – 1.5 °C 20952.7 °C – 5.3 °C Projected future rise in global temperature Mid-Atlantic Yearsea level rise (projected) 2030109 mm – 310 mm 2095409 mm – 1029 mm Projected future rise in global sea level Data: IPCC and Pennsylvania State University

21 20 th Century Hurricanes/Tropical Storms In Chesapeake Bay

22 Chesapeake Bay Hurricanes/Tropical Storms 1926 - 1950

23 Chesapeake Bay Hurricanes/Tropical Storms 1951 - 1975

24 Hurricanes/Tropical Storms 1976 - 2000

25 1851 -1876 1876 - 1900 1900 - 1925

26 Conclusions There are as many 27 different combinations of storms that can potentially the Chesapeake Bay based on track, intensity, and precipitationThere are as many 27 different combinations of storms that can potentially the Chesapeake Bay based on track, intensity, and precipitation –However, these large number of variations can be collapsed down to: 1) “Backdoor Storms; 2) lower Outer Banks Storms; and 3) Upper Outer Banks Storms –B ackdoor Storms are largely precipitation events –Lower Outer Bank Storms produce storm surges and wave setup in the lower Chesapeake Bay –Upper Outer Banks Storms can produce substantial “wind-driven” tides (wave setup) that can affect the whole Chesapeake Bay Only 3 storms like this occurred in the 20 th Century in the Chesapeake BayOnly 3 storms like this occurred in the 20 th Century in the Chesapeake Bay

27 FINI Questions?

28 Chesapeake Bay islands are rapidly disappearing

29 Isabel makes landfall Sept 18, 2003 Photo: NASA/MODIS

30 Risk of flooding much greater when storm surge and wave setup are considered Submergence risk determined by EPA

31 Isabel same size and path as 1933 hurricane Min pressure (" Hg) Max sustained wind speed Tidal surge in Potomac River (feet above MLLW) 28.7 70 mph 11.1 ' 29.1 73 mph 11.3 ' 1933hurricaneHurricane Isabel Isabel Chesapeake Biological Laboratory after the 1933 hurricane. Photo courtesy Calvert Marine Museum

32 Historical Category 2 Hurricanes In Chesapeake Bay

33 Historical Category 3 Hurricanes In Chesapeake Bay

34 Historical Category 1 Hurricanes In Chesapeake Bay

35 Δ Wave Decay Occurs farther in shoreWave Decay Occurs farther in shore Zone of “saturation” of wave energy closer to bankZone of “saturation” of wave energy closer to bank Overall penetration of storms significantly landwardsOverall penetration of storms significantly landwards Impact of Sea Level Rise on Storm Waves

36 Wave Energy Wave Energy * * (Airy Wave Theory) E = 1/8ρgH 2 Small Changes in Wave Height = Large Changes in Wave Energy

37 Relative wave power increased with increasing water depth 15’ 16’ 2 s wave 4 s wave

38 Total flood height = sea level + storm surge + wave setup

39 Track of the storm affects direction of wave generation


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