Hurricane Katrina storm surge delineation: Implications for future storm surge forecasts and warnings

Ginni Melton, Melanie Gall, Jerry T. Mitchell, Susan L. Cutter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


The storm surge in coastal Mississippi caused by Hurricane Katrina was unprecedented in the region. The height and geographic extent of the storm surge came as a surprise to many and exceeded pre-impact surge scenarios based on SLOSH models that were the basis for emergency preparedness and local land use decision-making. This paper explores the spatial accuracy of three interpolated storm surge surfaces derived from post-event reconnaissance data by comparing the interpolation results to a specific SLOSH run. The findings are used to suggest improvements in the calibration of existing pre-event storm surge models such as SLOSH. Finally, the paper provides some suggestions on an optimal surge forecast map that could enhance the communication of storm surge risks to the public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-536
Number of pages18
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010



  • Coastal Mississippi
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Storm surge mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

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