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Coastal Flooding Today, Tomorrow, and the Next Ten Years in East Coast U.S. Cities
  • Marybeth Arcodia,
  • Emily Becker,
  • Ben Kirtman
Marybeth Arcodia
University of Miami

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Emily Becker
University of Miami/ CIMAS
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Ben Kirtman
University of Miami - RSMAS
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When will a particular city on the Eastern Seaboard have a 70% chance of flooding at least one hour on at least 70 days of the year? This jam-packed question drives this study, as coastal flooding is becoming increasingly frequent in many East Coast U.S. cities. The frequency of floods that were once categorized as high tide or “nuisance” flooding is rapidly increasing, and many events are escalating to the moderate and major/severe flooding thresholds, putting life and property at risk. This study focuses on flooding events prone to causing property damage and hazardous conditions to make improvements for the subseasonal and seasonal outlooks that are most impactful. A number of East Coast cities are employed as case studies, such as Key West, FL, Charleston, SC, and Annapolis, MD, to analyze current and projected flooding rates. The spatial extent of flooding is considered by using high-resolution topographical data in combination with National Ocean Service tidal datums. NOAA sea level rise scenarios are used to determine the probable time period at which a portion of each city will be experiencing flooding for at least one hour per day frequently throughout the year. Additionally, tide gauge data from the case study cities is decomposed to understand which physical components are contributing to the regional coastal flooding on timescales from subseasonal to seasonal and beyond.