Episodic and Catastrophic Meteorological Events which Impact Florida Bay

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Craig Mattocks

Collaborating Scientists:

Dr. Mark D. Powell
Samuel H. Houston
Paul Trimble, SFWMD
Matthew Hinton, SFWMD
Beheen Trimble, SFWMD
Marie Pietrucha, SFWMD


The primary objective of this research project is to reconstruct episodic/catastrophic meteorological events and local weather regimes which critically affect the South Florida ecosystem.


Hurricanes, tropical storms and frontal passages are believed to exert considerable influence on the health of Florida Bay. Wind fields associated with these storms generate surface stress and an associated response in the bay circulation patterns and s ediment transport. Because the "multiple pond-bank" nature of Florida Bay inhibits sediment transport forced by relatively weak wind conditions, hurricanes are believed to play a critical role in flushing the bay. Severe winds associated with tropical c yclones may also contribute to ecosystem health as a result of the post-storm decay of organic material damaged by the wind and storm surge. In order to assess the response of Florida Bay to episodic wind events, circulation and ecological modelers would benefit from wind field analyses based on reconstruction of past events.


South Florida Atmospheric Modeling Workshop (NOAA/AOML, Nov. 1994)

Droegemeier, K.K., M. Xue, P.V. Reid, J. Brandley and R. Lindsay, 1991: Development of the CAPS Advanced Regional Prediction System (ARPS): An adaptive, massively parallel, multi-scale prediction model, Ninth Conference on Numerical Wea ther Prediction, Denver, Co., American Meteorological Society, Boston, 289-292.

Lord, S. J. and J. L. Franklin, 1987: The environment of Hurricane Debby. Part I: Winds. Monthly Weather Review, 119, 2760-2780.

Ooyama, K. V., 1987: Scale controlled objective analysis. Monthly Weather Review, 115, 2479-2506.

Powell, M.D., S. H. Houston, and T. Reinhold, 1995: Hurricane Andrew's landfall in South Florida: Part I: Standardizing measurements for documentation of surface wind fields. Accepted, Weather and Forecasting.

Powell, M. D. and S. Houston, 1995: Hurricane Andrew's Landfall in South Florida. Part II: Surface wind fields and potential real-time applications. Accepted, Weather and Forecasting.

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