Meteotsunami forecasting: sensitivities demonstrated by the 2008 Boothbay, Maine, event

  • P. WhitmoreEmail author
  • B. Knight
Original Paper


To support development of a meteotsunami forecasting capability for the USA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funded a project in 2011 focused on meteotsunami forecasting for the US east coast. Meteotsunami forecasting shares many similarities with traditional tsunami forecasting, though the characterization and integration of the source with numerical forecast models is much different. Given meteotsunami source characterization through atmospheric observations and models, it is conceivable that meteotsunami alerts could be issued and their impact forecasted using existing tsunami forecast models with high-resolution coastal definition. To test this, the 2008 Boothbay, Maine, meteotsunami is simulated using an atmospheric source consisting of a moving pressure disturbance coupled with a tsunami forecast model. Sensitivities of the modeled impact to the source characteristics, such as speed, wavelength, and direction, are also tested. Results show that the observed impact can be re-created through numerical modeling when the pressure disturbance period is roughly matched with the harbor resonance and observed meteotsunami period.


Meteotsunami Meteotsunami forecast Tsunami forecasting Boothbay 


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The authors thank the members of the international TMEWS team for their diligent efforts in researching the source characteristics of east coast and other meteotsunamis; the NWS Tsunami Program, especially former Program Manager Jen Rhoades, for its support for the TMEWS project; Frank Kelly and Carven Scott of the NWS Alaska Region for early support for the investigation; John Jensenius, Bart Hagemeyer, and Scott Spratt of the NWS Eastern and Southern Region for supplying observational data where possible; and Fred Stephenson, Guy Urban, David Nyland, and one anonymous reviewer for constructive reviews of the report.


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Copyright information

© US Government 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NOAA/NWS National Tsunami Warning CenterPalmerUSA

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