Natural Hazards

, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 93–112 | Cite as

An improved cyclonic wind distribution for computation of storm surges

  • Smita Pandey
  • A. D. Rao
Original Paper


The rise of total water levels at the coast is caused primarily by three factors that encompass storm surges, tides and wind waves. The accuracy of total water elevation (TWE) forecast depends not only on the cyclonic track and its intensity, but also on the spatial distribution of winds which include its speed and direction. In the present study, the cyclonic winds are validated using buoy winds for the recent cyclones formed in the Bay of Bengal since 2010 using Jelesnianski wind scheme. It is found that the cyclonic winds computed from the scheme show an underestimate in the magnitude and also a mismatch in its direction. Hence, the wind scheme is suitably modified based on the buoy observations available at different locations using a power law which reduces the exponential decay of winds by about 30%. Moreover, the cyclonic wind direction is also corrected by suitably modifying its inflow angle. The significance of modified exponential factor and inflow angle in the computation cyclonic winds is highlighted using statistical analysis. A hydrodynamic finite element-based Advanced Circulation 2D depth integrated (ADCIRC-2DDI) model is used here to compute TWE as a response to combined effect of cyclonic winds and astronomical tides. As contribution of wave setup plays an important role near the coast, a coupled ADCIRC + SWAN is used to perceive the contribution of wind waves on the TWE. The experiments are performed to validate computed surge residuals with available tide gauge data. On comparison of observed surge residuals with the simulations using modified winds from the uncoupled and coupled models, it is found that the simulated surge residuals are better compared, especially with the inclusion of wave effect through the coupled model.


Bay of Bengal Total water elevations Surge residual Tides Cyclonic winds 



The authors are thankful to Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service (INCOIS) for granting financial support to carry out this study also for providing buoy wind and tide gauge data. The authors also thank Indian Institute of Technology Delhi HPC facility for computational resources.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Atmospheric SciencesIndian Institute of Technology DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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