Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Geography and Geosciences

Degree Program

Geography (Applied), MS

Committee Chair

Naylor, Jason

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Gunter, William

Committee Member

Gunter, William

Committee Member

Gordon, John

Author's Keywords

Numerical modeling; weather forecasting; sea-level rise; climate change; hurricane Katrina; tropical cyclones; meteorology; geoscience; geography; python visualization


With climate change, landfalling hurricanes become an increasing threat to coastal regions. However, the interactions between the coastal landscape and landfalling hurricanes are often overlooked when addressing sea-level rise outside of inundation and independent of sea surface temperature. This study analyzed the potential impacts regarding structure and intensity as a result of sea-level rise in the Gulf of Mexico using the WRF-ARW numerical model coupled with a 1D ocean model. Analysis showed that 10 m windspeed from landfall forward was higher in modified coastlines, and minimum sea-level pressure post-landfall was consistently lower for modified runs where storms maintain a higher intensity for a longer period. Structural changes were also seen, showing modified runs had a more structured secondary circulation and higher values in the radius of max winds. Findings showed the importance of sea-level rise when simulating climate change scenarios for landfalling hurricanes while suggesting future applications.