Storm Surge Monitoring
Coastal hazard professionals and community volunteers have identified data gaps in existing king tide observations in Washington State associated with the degree to which storm surge and wave runup contribute to coastal flooding. In effort to address these data gaps, the Jefferson MRC is monitoring a study site near the NW Maritime Center in Port Townsend to assess total water levels. Monitoring total water levels captures the sum of parameters that contribute to coastal flooding events (i.e., tidal elevation, storm surge, wind direction, wind speed, fetch, and wave runup) that are not currently assessed together in forecasts. The Jefferson MRC is also developing a protocol that can be adopted for other locations across the Salish Sea so that other communities can better understand their own coastal flood risks and make more informed decisions at the local level. This involves collecting repeat photos during high storm surge and wave runup events at the same location, using fixed features in photos to provide reference against which the elevation of total water level during these events can be estimated, and coupling these observations with ancillary data on other parameters that contribute to coastal flooding. The overall goal of this project is to improve our understanding of the combination of variables that contribute to coastal flooding events in order to make better informed decisions about site-specific flood risks.
- Overview of the Storm Surge Monitoring Project (5-minute Video)