October 2012’s Hurricane Sandy left behind a massive trail of destruction across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, claiming at least 113 lives in the U.S. and causing up to $20 billion in damage. The greatest impact was the combination of high wind and waves that brought destructive storm surges and flooding to coastal areas – with water levels cresting several feet above normal tides.
RPS manages the systems that integrated data from various sources including forecast models, offshore buoys, high frequency radar, and ocean gliders – supporting planning and emergency response.
OceansMap has been developed by RPS in Rhode Island to provide access to real-time ocean and weather data – www.oceansmap.com.
OceansMap is being used by MARACOOS (Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System) to visualize and analyze dozens of meteorological and oceanographic data streams including model forecasts. In October, with Hurricane Matthew bearing down on the region, RPS was asked to provide a tailored view of the storm within the OceansMap framework. We responded by creating a custom theme including the best available winds and current forecasts, real-time observations, the official track forecast from the National Hurricane Center, the Global Ensemble Forecast System (GEFS)‘spaghetti tracks’ showing the ensemble forecast predictions, and storm surge inundation forecasts. Researchers and scientists from the many universities in MARACOOS are using gliders, drifters, buoys, models, radar, and satellite-derived data to analyze ocean dynamics and estimate flooding along the Mid-Atlantic coast) as hurricanes and storms move through the region. Hurricane Matthew presented a unique opportunity for data analysis as it passed directly over National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) Buoy 42058, providing the in-situ observations of a hurricane eye. As Hurricane Matthew left the region, the newly developed theme was generalized and will continue to be available for any active tropical cyclone