Environmental modeling, technology, and communication for land falling tropical cyclone/hurricane prediction

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2010 May;7(5):1937-52. doi: 10.3390/ijerph7051937. Epub 2010 Apr 28.


Katrina (a tropical cyclone/hurricane) began to strengthen reaching a Category 5 storm on 28th August, 2005 and its winds reached peak intensity of 175 mph and pressure levels as low as 902 mb. Katrina eventually weakened to a category 3 storm and made a landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico, south of Buras on 29th August 2005. We investigate the time series intensity change of the hurricane Katrina using environmental modeling and technology tools to develop an early and advanced warning and prediction system. Environmental Mesoscale Model (Weather Research Forecast, WRF) simulations are used for prediction of intensity change and track of the hurricane Katrina. The model is run on a doubly nested domain centered over the central Gulf of Mexico, with grid spacing of 90 km and 30 km for 6 h periods, from August 28th to August 30th. The model results are in good agreement with the observations suggesting that the model is capable of simulating the surface features, intensity change and track and precipitation associated with hurricane Katrina. We computed the maximum vertical velocities (W(max)) using Convective Available Kinetic Energy (CAPE) obtained at the equilibrium level (EL), from atmospheric soundings over the Gulf Coast stations during the hurricane land falling for the period August 21-30, 2005. The large vertical atmospheric motions associated with the land falling hurricane Katrina produced severe weather including thunderstorms and tornadoes 2-3 days before landfall. The environmental modeling simulations in combination with sounding data show that the tools may be used as an advanced prediction and communication system (APCS) for land falling tropical cyclones/hurricanes.

Keywords: environmental modeling; tropical cyclone/hurricane prediction and communication.

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Cyclonic Storms*
  • Environment*
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Tropical Climate*