Flood Risk Assessment from Storm Tides, Rainfall and Sea Level Rise along Hudson river and in New York area

Philip M. Orton, Francesco Cioffi, Federico Rosario Conticello, Timothy M Hall, Nickitas Georgas, Upmanu Lall, Alan F Blumberg

Tuesday 30 june 2015

16:45 - 17:00h at South America (level 0)

Themes: (T) Flood risk management and adaptation, (ST) Flooding along in rivers and coasts

Parallel session: 7J. Floodrisk - Assessment

A flood hazard assessment has been conducted the Hudson River from New York City to Troy at the head of tide, using a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model and merging hydrologic inputs and storm tides from tropical and extra-tropical cyclones, as well as spring freshet floods. Our recent work showed that neglecting freshwater flows leads to underestimation of peak water levels at up-river sites and neglecting stratification (typical with two-dimensional modeling) leads to underestimation all along the Hudson. The hazard assessment framework utilizes a representative climatology of over 1000 synthetic tropical cyclones (TCs) derived from a statistical-stochastic TC model, and historical extra-tropical cyclones and freshets from 1950-present. Hydrodynamic modeling is applied with seasonal variations in mean sea level and ocean and estuary stratification. The model is the Stevens ECOM model and is separately used for operational ocean forecasts on the NYHOPS domain (http://stevens.edu/NYHOPS). For the synthetic TCs, an Quantile regression/ Bayesian multivariate approach is used for rainfall-driven freshwater inputs to the Hudson, translating the TC attributes (e.g. track, SST, wind speed) directly into tributary stream flows. By using the above model system we also examine the sensitivity of Hudson flooding to future climate warming-driven increases in storm precipitation. The hazard assessment is being repeated for several values of sea level, as projected for future decades by the New York City Panel on Climate Change. Recent studies have given widely varying estimates of the present-day 100-year flood at New York City, from 2.0 m to 3.5 m, and special emphasis will be placed on quantifying our study’s uncertainty.