Reconstruction of a meteotsunami in Lake Erie on 27 May 2012: Roles of atmospheric conditions on hydrodynamic response in enclosed basins
Kirk Lombardy, NOAA National Weather Service - Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland, OH
Eric Anderson, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory
Adam Bechle, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chin Wu, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
David Schwab, Water Center, University of Michigan

A meteorological tsunami (meteotsunami) is a convectively induced wind generated series of waves that has tsunami characteristics without the seismic records of an earthquake.  Meteotsunamis have inundated the shoreline of the Great Lakes causing major shoreline flooding, death and destruction in their path. No method of forecasting these events is currently in place to assist meteorologists with warning the public.  This presentation analyzes the meteotsunami events as they unfolded on 27 May 2012 on Lake Erie. The resulting waves from the strong meteotsunami event swept three swimmers a 0.5 mile offshore, inundated a marina, and may have led to a capsized boat along the southern shoreline.  An analysis of the KCLE WSR-88D radar, in combination with coastal meteorological observations, indicated thunderstorms over the northern waters of Lake Erie produced a series of outflow boundaries that were the likely atmospheric cause of the meteotsunami.  In order to explain the processes that led to the hydrodynamic response from the meteotsunami, high resolution meteorological and hydrodynamic modeling was used to simulate the convectively induced waves that were incident to the southern shore of Lake Erie.  The resultant simulated spatial waves focused and impacted the shoreline near Cleveland, Ohio.  The study illustrates the potential to simulate and forecast these extreme wave events and predict the hydrodynamic response as it is crucial to reducing the risk and building resilient coastal communities.