CERA partnered with High Performance Centers in TX and LA for hurricane IAN

Hurricane IAN was a destructive category 4 hurricane that caused severe damage across the states of Florida and South Carolina.

The CERA Group delivered ongoing forecast results to 90,000 users over the entire course of the storm. The ADCIRC Surge Guidance System Team, the LSU Center for Computation and Technology (CCT) and High Performance Centers in TX and LA were key partners for our success to provide uninterrupted storm surge modeling and visualization guidance.

The Texas Advanced Computing Center published a Q&A, covering the role of the Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment (CERA) Storm Surge and Flood Web Mapping Visualization Tool and its importance during hurricane IAN.

see full article

Maximum storm surge and inland flooding as displayed on the Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment (CERA) website for hurricane IAN (Sep/Oct 2022). Data source: ADCIRC Surge Guidance System (ASGS).

CERA Storm Report for Hurricane Ida

Ida (August 26 – 31, 2021) made landfall as a strong category 4 hurricane near Port Fourchon, LA on August 29.  The impacts of Ida are far-reaching across Southeastern Louisiana and beyond.  Over a million customers in the region were without power, and for some, restoration is estimated to take weeks or longer.  The greater New Orleans area was left completely in the dark, leaving officials scrambling to determine the best path to bring the city and surrounding areas back up.  The devastation caused in the coastal areas like Grand Isle, where 100% of structures are reported to have sustained damage, will take years to rebuild.  Intense flooding in the River Parishes left homes and businesses destroyed.

The CERA Group at the LSU Center for Computation and Technology successfully performed storm surge and flood guidance to end users in Louisiana. Several model results were available on the CERA website at https://cera.coastalrisk.live.

Success Highlights

  • CERA delivered visualizations for storm surge model runs from the ADCIRC Surge Guidance System (ASGS) for the NHC official forecast, veer left and veer right scenarios and an increase in overland speed from advisory #6 through #18.
  • CERA maps from the Compound Flood Inundation Guidance System (CFIGS) were delivered for special advisories. This was the first time that CFIGS went operational for a storm event to provide results in real-time.
  • CERA got more than 20,000 page views from the public website and 9,000 page views from users with a login during the storm. 350 subscribed users were active on the site during the storm.
  • CERA/ASGS/CFIGS results were used by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to brief the Louisiana Governor.
  • CERA received numerous new login requests from high-ranking agencies and organizations, including the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).
  • CERA provided GeoTiff imagery for the inundation impacts that were used by the DHS HAZUS Group for damage assessment, among others.
CERA: ADCIRC Surge Guidance System – predicted water levels for Ida, advisory 14 on Aug 29
CERA – CFIGS showing the Flood Risk Hazard in Structures layer for IDA, advisory 14 on Aug 29

FEMA Hazus uses CERA as validation tool

FEMA’s Hazus Program provides standardized tools and data for estimating risk from earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, and hurricanes. 

We have recently learned that the FEMA Hazus Development Group uses our CERA storm surge guidance visualization system to validate the development of a data tool for integrating hazard data into the FEMA Hazus application.

Thank you FEMA for the trust in the quality of the provided data through the CERA site at https://cera.coastalrisk.live

Tropical Storm Elsa has formed in the Atlantic

The fifth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season formed over the Atlantic early Thursday (July 1).

According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Storm Elsa tracks westward at a quick pace of 25 mph.

Together with our partners at Seahorse Coastal Consulting , LSU High Performance Center, and the Texas Advanced Computing Center , the CERA Group has started storm surge guidance using the storm surge model ADCIRC.

You can follow real-time updates on the CERA website at https://cera.coastalrisk.live

CERA Storm Report for Tropical Storm CLAUDETTE

Tropical Storm Claudette (17 June –  21 June , 2021) was already the third named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season but the first tropical system that targeted both the Gulf and the Atlantic coasts.

The CERA Group at the LSU Center for Computation and Technology successfully performed storm surge and flood guidance to end users in Louisiana and North Carolina. Several model results were available on the CERA website at https://cera.coastalrisk.live.


  1.  We used high resolution storm surge model meshes for the States of Louisiana and North Carolina and a vortex wind model to represent the NHC consensus track wind fields and the associated predicted storm surge  through the ADCIRC Surge Guidance System.
  2. The Compound Flood Inundation Guidance System delivered flood guidance showing compound threat predictions from surge and rainfall for watersheds in Louisiana once daily from June 16 through June 19 and an after-storm guidance on June 21.
  3. Customized gage stations were provided to the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) for their use to monitor water levels at critical locations.
TS Claudette approaching Louisiana, NHC advisory 5

TS Claudette impacting North Carolina, NHC advisory 15

Compound storm surge and rainfall impacts, NHC advisory 4

Gage stations for the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA)

Potential Tropical Cyclone THREE is rainfall threat

Potential Tropical Cyclone Three has formed in the Northern Gulf and might strengthen into a tropical system before making landfall along the southern Louisiana coastline. After two short-lived tropical systems in the Atlantic, this would already be the third named storm of the season 2021 – Claudette.

In partnership with Seahorse Coastal Consulting, the CERA Group at LSU provides storm surge and flood guidance for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana (CPRA) and our partners in Louisiana.

Please visit our website at https://cera.coastalrisk.live for real-time guidance.

Welcome to the Hurricane Season 2021

On May 22, the National Hurricane Center started issuing advisories for subtropical storm Ana that had formed near Bermuda – the first storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season which officially starts on June 1.

Subtropical storm ‘Ana’ displayed on the CERA website at https://cera.coastalrisk.live

The Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment (CERA) Group at Louisiana State University provides storm surge and flood inundation guidance through its interactive visualization portal all season. Please check our CERA storm surge tool at cera.coastalrisk.live for updates and get connected with our partners through Seahorse Coastal Consulting at LinkedIn.

Thanks to Louisiana State University Center for Computation and Technology (CCT), Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, NOAA Coast Survey Development Lab, LSU HPC & LONI High Performance Computing , UT Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) , and CE Hydro for partnership and support.

Please also visit us on LinkedIn.

NOAA predicts another active Atlantic hurricane season

On May 20, NOAA issued it’s 2021 hurricane seasonal outlooks for the Atlantic and East Pacific basins. For the Atlantic, an active season is predicted.

According to NOAA, several climate factors that favor increased activity are reflected in this outlook, including:
– the ongoing high-activity era that is in place since 1995
– ENSO Neutral or LaNina (will not suppress hurricane activity)
– warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures
– reduced vertical wind shear
– weaker Atlantic tropical trade winds
– an enhanced African monsoon.

“Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020.”

More details at http://bit.ly/2021AtlanticHurricaneSeasonOutlook

‘Average’ Atlantic hurricane season to reflect more storms

According to a statement released by NOAA on April, 9 2021, the Atlantic hurricane season averages have changed.

“Beginning with this year’s hurricane season outlooks, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) will use 1991-2020 as the new 30-year period of record. The updated averages for the Atlantic hurricane season have increased with 14 named storms and 7 hurricanes. The average for major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5) remains unchanged at 3. The previous Atlantic storm averages, based on the period from 1981 to 2010, were 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.”

See the full NOAA statement here.

CERA release for 2021 hurricane season

The CERA Group at Louisiana State University is pleased to announce a release of the CERA storm surge and flood visualization tool for the 2021 hurricane season.

CERA 2021 release

  • NEW: Download capability for time series at specific location as requested by user feedback
  • NEW: Open time series chart through search by coordinates
    If you would like to learn more about these features, please visit this blog entry.

The CERA release also includes the following new features for all models:

  • Vector graphics for a polished look
  • Google Maps background map in black and white, putting emphasis on storm surge information visibility

The following new CERA features are for specific storm surge/flood models:

ADCIRC Surge Guidance System (ASGS):

  • Update of USGS, USACE, NOAA water level stations to reflect latest agency adjustments
  • Download of inundation GeoTiffs for storms as requested by user feedback
  • Gage stations show water levels of the previous storm advisory for comparison with the current storm advisory as requested by user feedback

Extratropical Storm Surge and Tide Operational Forecast System (ESTOFS):

  • CERA visualizes NOAA’s new ESTOFS-Global mesh including water height and wind; additional features will follow

Compound Flood Inundation Guidance System (CFIGS):

  • CFIGS combines influences of precipitation and storm surge/tidal fluctuations developed by CE Hydro, LLC. Results are generated for selected watersheds in Louisiana
  • CFIGS will go operational for the 2021 hurricane season and displayed on the CERA website