Abstract Title

Mesoscale Modeling of Hurricane Norbert Moisture Surge and Arizona flooding

Faculty Mentor Name

Dorothea Ivanova

Format Preference

Poster

Abstract

In early September 2014, remnants of Hurricane Norbert brought record-setting rainfall that swept across the Southwest U.S. Flash flooding in Phoenix area caused major damage to infrastructure, roadways, and many human casualties including two fatalities. The overall goal of this study is to use the Weather Research Forecast (Advanced Research Weather model) (WRF ARW) to simulate the status of the atmospheric boundary layer before, during and after Hurricane Norbert. It is utilized to analyze wave-like sea surface temperature variations and resulting moisture surges in the Gulf of California. It determines if and to what extent the SW monsoon is the instigator. WRF ARW is also used to determine if the rain bands left behind were influenced and propagated by the monsoonal south/southwest flow over the Phoenix and Chandler area. This gives insight to WRF ARW effectiveness in forecasting similar monsoon based storms and tropical cyclones in the future. Our WRF modeling study supports the hypothesis that higher than usual for early September SSTs significantly enhanced the intensity of Norbert and influenced the rainfall rates and the intensity of the flash flood. To test this hypothesis, we investigate boundary layer and the atmospheric circulation in Arizona before and during the heavy rain events. WRF ARW (Advanced Research WRF model) successfully simulated the boundary layer properties and CAPE during the flood. The simulated Norbert moisture movement triggers strong winds, damaging rain, and thunderstorms for several days across Arizona.

Poster Presentation

Location

AC1-ATRIUM

Start Date

4-8-2016 1:00 PM

End Date

4-8-2016 3:00 PM

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Apr 8th, 1:00 PM Apr 8th, 3:00 PM

Mesoscale Modeling of Hurricane Norbert Moisture Surge and Arizona flooding

AC1-ATRIUM

In early September 2014, remnants of Hurricane Norbert brought record-setting rainfall that swept across the Southwest U.S. Flash flooding in Phoenix area caused major damage to infrastructure, roadways, and many human casualties including two fatalities. The overall goal of this study is to use the Weather Research Forecast (Advanced Research Weather model) (WRF ARW) to simulate the status of the atmospheric boundary layer before, during and after Hurricane Norbert. It is utilized to analyze wave-like sea surface temperature variations and resulting moisture surges in the Gulf of California. It determines if and to what extent the SW monsoon is the instigator. WRF ARW is also used to determine if the rain bands left behind were influenced and propagated by the monsoonal south/southwest flow over the Phoenix and Chandler area. This gives insight to WRF ARW effectiveness in forecasting similar monsoon based storms and tropical cyclones in the future. Our WRF modeling study supports the hypothesis that higher than usual for early September SSTs significantly enhanced the intensity of Norbert and influenced the rainfall rates and the intensity of the flash flood. To test this hypothesis, we investigate boundary layer and the atmospheric circulation in Arizona before and during the heavy rain events. WRF ARW (Advanced Research WRF model) successfully simulated the boundary layer properties and CAPE during the flood. The simulated Norbert moisture movement triggers strong winds, damaging rain, and thunderstorms for several days across Arizona.

Poster Presentation