Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

5-2022

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Geography and Geosciences

Degree Program

Geography (Applied), MS

Committee Chair

Naylor, Jason

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

Abstract

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.

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