# Estimating the Annual Exceedance Probability of Water Levels and Wave Heights from High Resolution Coupled Wave-Circulation Models in Long Island Sound

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Connecticut Institute for Resilience and Climate Adaptation, University of Connecticut, Groton, CT 06269, USA

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Department of Sciences and Mathematics, California State University Maritime Academy, Vallejo, CA 94590, USA

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Marine Sciences Department, University of Connecticut, Groton, CT 06269, USA

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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

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Current address: 1080 Shennecossett Rd MSD 201, Groton, CT 06340, USA.

Received: 27 May 2020 / Revised: 21 June 2020 / Accepted: 24 June 2020 / Published: 27 June 2020

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Models in Coastal Hazards and Coastal Environment)

Accurately estimating the probability of storm surge occurrences is necessary for flood risk assessments. This research models Long Island Sound using a coupled coastal circulation and wave model (FVCOM-SWAVE) to hindcast the 44 highest storms between 1950–2018 and fitted Poisson-GPD distributions to modelled water levels and wave heights. Floodwater elevations and significant wave heights for 10% (1/10), 3% (1/30), 2% (1/50), and 1% (1/100) annual exceedance probabilities are provided for all Connecticut coastal towns. The results show that both water levels and their corresponding return intervals are higher along the western coast of Connecticut than the eastern coast, whereas significant wave heights increase eastward. Comparing our model results with those from the North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study (NACCS) shows that the mean NACCS results are higher for water levels and lower for significant wave heights for longer return periods. Likewise, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) results in large errors compared to our results in both eastern and western coastal Connecticut regions. In addition to evaluating historical risks, we also added a sea-level height offset of 0.5 m for 2050 estimates in order to examine the effect of rising sea-levels on the analysis. We find that sea-level rise reduces the return period of a 10-year storm to two years. We advise periodically updating this work as improved sea-level rise projections become available.

*Keywords:*extremal analysis; probability distribution; return interval; storm surge; FVCOM