Storm Surge Calculations

Joint Research Centre, European Commission

  The Calculation System

The JRC Storm Surge Calculation System (JRC-SSCS)  is a new development that has been established at the Joint Research Centre in the frame of the Global Disasters Alerts and Coordination System (GDACS). The system is intended as a series of procedures that use meteorological forecasts produced by the European Center for Medium Weather Forecast (ECMWF) in order to estimate the storm surge as a result of Tropical Cyclone or in general Storm events.

ECMWF produces every 12 hours a worldwide 10-day 'Deterministic' forecasts of Mean Sea Level Pressure, of Wind Speed and Temperature at low levels, and of the Height of the 500-hPa isobaric surface. The forecast file contains time intervals of 1 h and is in form of grib file.

An automatic procedure has been develop that performs the following actions:
  • Download the ECMWF grib file 2 time per day, as soon as the file becomes available (typically at 9:30 AM and 9:30 PM for the 00 and 12 h respectively)
  • Extract a portion of the grib file and convert in netcdf for a number of windows of interest •
  • Prepares the input file needed by the storm surge calculations (geoTif raster maps for each time interval for pressure and wind speed components)
  • Launches the calculations using the HyFlux2 code
  • Post process the results<
    • Creates the files needed to analyse with TAT (tsunami Analysis Tool)
    • Creates bulletins for fixed windows
    • Publishing in internet the results

Calculation Types

Two type of calculations are launched

  • Fixed calculations
    • A number of interest windows have been defined for which two calculations per day are performed using the previous forecast at -6 h and the forecasted values for the 72 h after the time 0 of the forecast
    • At the moment we have defined 4 windows
  • Cyclone calculations
    • When in GDACS a new cyclone is identified with its official name a window is defined using the expected track provided by ECMWF and considering ample margin in the border to contain the cyclone
    • The calculation is performed until the exhausting of the cyclone
Computing Resources

At the moment the calculation of the fixed windows is performed using 6 cores  per calculation. We use a 24 cores Linux workstation and this allows to compute the 4 windows without disturbing each other. The presence of Cyclones calculation slows down the calculations because they are in addition to the fixed window ones. A new server with 80 cores is being implemented  and should support the existing one and share the computational needs.

The current computing time is in the order of 2h. The use of the new server should reduce the calculation time by increasing the core number per calculation.
Modelling Useful links

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