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Isaac Forecast to Threaten New Orleans Seven Years After Katrina

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August 27, 2012

In the wake of the seven-year anniversary of hurricane Katrina destructive landfall on New Orleans, real-time forecast data by the high-resolution Coupled Regional Climate Model obtained on the Eos cluster show tropical storm Isaac is headed to the same coastal areas affected by Katrina in August 2005.

The Coupled Regional Climate Model (CRCM) forecast software -- developed at Texas A&M University by Dr. Raffaele Montuoro in collaboration with the Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Research Group (COARG) headed by Drs. Ping Chang and R. Saravanan -- is currently producing real-time 3-day hourly forecasts of the atmosphere and ocean conditions of the Gulf of Mexico as the storm goes through the region, using initial conditions provided every day by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

CRCM is based on the widely used NCAR's Weather Research and Forecast (WRF) Model and on Rutgers/UCLA Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS). These models are coupled to allow for energy to be exchanged between the atmosphere and ocean, a process that is crucial for a more accurate description of hurricanes.

You may follow Isaac's forecasts on the Supercomputing Facility website, at: http://sc.tamu.edu/crcm/. Click on 10m wind and precipitation rate for a quick look at the storm.

These forecasts are supported by the Texas A&M Supercomputing Facility. The underlying research and software development has been funded in part by a grant from DOE's Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program, and in part by a grant from BP/The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.