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St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards > Hurricane Matthew

National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards

Hurricane Matthew

 

Forecast of Potential Coastal Change

Hurricane Matthew impacted a large portion of the U.S. Southeast coast, from Florida to North Carolina, during October 6-9, 2016. Preliminary observations from tide gauges along the coast indicate storm surge reached 1 to 3 meters above predicted tides. For example, storm surge peaked at 1.25 meters (m) at Trident Pier, Florida; 2.4 m at Fort Pulaski, Georgia; 1.2 m at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and 1 m at Duck, North Carolina. Offshore wave heights in excess of 9 meters were observed near Cape Canaveral, Florida. These large waves contributed to an additional 2 to 5 meters of wave runup at the shoreline. The combined effects of surge and storm-induced wave runup created elevated total water levels at the shoreline, causing extensive erosion of the beach and dunes. The USGS National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards storm team responded to Hurricane Matthew by providing forecasts of potential coastal change in advance of the storm. The forecast at the time of peak winds is archived in the Coastal Change Hazards Portal.

Predictions of the percentage of sandy coast very likely to experience coastal change during Hurricane Matthew from October 6-8, 2016.

Collision Overwash Inundation
Florida East Coast 77 24 1
Georgia 97 73 35
South Carolina 100 71 15

Prediction of the percentage of sandy coast very likely (probability > 90%) to experience coastal change during Hurricane Matthew (updated Friday October 7, 2016, Advisory 37).

The USGS Hurricanes and Extreme Storms Group investigates coastal change caused by major storms. Predictions of coastal change expected during the landfall of Hurricane Matthew are made using a USGS-developed model that compares modeled maximum total water levels (including tide, storm surge and wave runup) and observed beach elevations. Coastal change probabilities give the likelihood that the beach system will experience erosion and deposition patterns consistent with collision, overwash, or inundation regimes. View and interact with probabilities of storm-induced coastal change, as well as dune elevation and maximum water levels, in the Coastal Change Hazards Portal.


Experimental Total Water Level Predictions

In a research capacity, the USGS and NOAA National Weather Service are also developing an operational model to predict the timing, magnitude, and duration of storm-induced water levels. This experimental model was established at select pilot sites including Jupiter, Florida; and Duck, North Carolina; which show the timing of storm-induced water levels during Hurricane Matthew. You can interact with real-time water level forecasts at or look at previous forecasts made during Hurricane Matthew by clicking on the link to the left.



St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center > National Assessment of Storm-Induced Coastal Change Hazards > Hurricane Matthew

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