Comparative Analysis of BALSSA and Conventional NWP Methods: A Case Study in Extreme Storm Surge Prediction in Macao

Vai Kei Ian, Su Kit Tang, Giovanni Pau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In coastal regions, accurate storm surge prediction is crucial for effective disaster management and risk mitigation. This study presents a comparative analysis between BALSSA (Bidirectional Attention-based LSTM for Storm Surge Architecture) and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) numerical storm surge model, focusing on the Saola-induced storm surge in Macao, September 2023. To train and assess the model, we leverage an extensive dataset comprising meteorological and tide level information from more than 80 typhoon occurrences in Macao spanning the period from 2017 to 2023. The results provide evidence of BALSSA’s effectiveness in capturing the complex spatio-temporal dynamics of storm surges, with a lead time of up to 72 h, as reflected by its MAE of 0.019 and RMSE of 0.024. It demonstrates reliable accuracy in predicting storm surge magnitude, timing, and spatial extent, potentially contributing to more precise and timely warnings for coastal communities. Furthermore, the real-time data assimilation feature of BALSSA ensures up-to-date information, aligned with the latest observations, which is essential for effective emergency preparedness and response. The high-resolution grids enhance risk assessment, highlighting BALSSA’s potential for early warnings, emergency planning, and coastal risk management. This study contributes valuable insights to the broader field of storm surge prediction, guiding decision-making processes and supporting the development of effective strategies to enhance coastal resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1597
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • artificial intelligence
  • climate change
  • early warning
  • machine learning
  • natural disaster
  • natural hazard
  • storm surge
  • tropical cyclone


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