Master of Science (M.S.)
Degree Granting Department
Jennifer Collins, Ph.D.
Kamal Alsharif, Ph.D.
Mark Luther, Ph.D.
Seiche, Frontal Systems, Barometric Pressure Anomaly
The purpose of this research was to provide a better understanding of meteotsunamis over the eastern Gulf of Mexico along the west coast of Florida and to develop a process for forecasting those events. Meteotsunami waves develop from resonant effects of strong pressure perturbations greater than 1 hPa, moving in excess of 10 m s-1, over water areas up to around 100 m in depth. Meteotsunami events over 0.3 m in height, as measured by three primary NOAA coastal tide gauges at Cedar Key, Clearwater Beach, and Naples, from 2007-2015, impact the Florida Gulf coastline several times per year and are most prevalent south of Cedar Key. Cases that met the indicated thresholds were further examined. A majority of the cases were associated with bands of active convection that brought pressure changes and wind changes.
The cases derived from this research provide a baseline for formulating a forecast methodology. The prediction of meteotsunamis is challenging over the marine environment where sub-hourly pressure and wind observations are generally not obtainable. Two forecast methodologies were derived for longer term periods up to several days using numerical model surface pressure data and a refined methodology for forecasts up to several hours in advance of the impacts using a combination of high resolution weather prediction models to provide a robust environment of atmospheric pressure, wind, and pressure fields for prediction of meteotsunamis over shallow shelf waters and available observations. This research illuminates, for National Weather Service forecasters, meteotsunami development and potential hazards related to this phenomenon that can be transmitted to the public within specialized products.
Scholar Commons Citation
Paxton, Leilani D., "Development of a Forecast Process for Meteotsunami Events in the Gulf of Mexico" (2016). USF Tampa Graduate Theses and Dissertations.