Hurricane Preparedness Week: Storm Surge Gets New Map Feature For Upcoming Hurricane Season

By  //  May 6, 2020

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Hurricane season begins June 1

ABOVE VIDEO: This fast draw video provides an explanation of storm surge. Storm surge is what officials use when determining who to evacuate. Remember, when officials say it is time to evacuate… go! More information about hurricane preparedness can be found here.

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Many factors go into how high storm surge might be, including how strong a storm is, its speed, size, and the shape of the coast.

The National Weather Service reports all storm surge information in “Inundation”, or how high above ground the water will be.

If you don’t live right at the coast, rivers, inlets, and other features it still may allow surge to travel further inland.

This year, National Hurricane Center announced it will include a graphical depiction of its storm surge forecast.

NHC will begin providing 60-hour track, intensity, and 34-knot and 50-knot wind radii forecasts.

NHC National Hurricane Preparedness Week: Determine Your RiskRelated Story:
NHC National Hurricane Preparedness Week: Determine Your Risk

These forecasts will be included in the tropical cyclone forecast/advisory (TCM), tropical cyclone discussion (TCD), and referenced within the tropical cyclone public advisory (TCP).

The 60-hour forecast information will also be included on the NHC cone graphic and will be used in the computation of the NHC wind speed probabilities, time of arrival graphic and probabilistic storm surge products.

This year, National Hurricane Center announced it will include a graphical depiction of its storm surge forecast. NHC will begin providing 60-hour track, intensity, and 34-knot and 50-knot wind radii forecasts. (NHC Image)

In previous years, forecasters used only a text format to give storm surge information.

The new graphic forecasters will now use in 2020 will give expected storm surge inundation values for the United States Gulf and Atlantic coasts, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This year, National Hurricane Center announced it will include a graphical depiction of its storm surge forecast. NHC will begin providing 60-hour track, intensity, and 34-knot and 50-knot wind radii forecasts.

In addition to the new storm surge tweak, new local time zones for systems in the eastern Atlantic will be added into this year’s updates.

NHC public advisories, tropical cyclone discussions, tropical cyclone updates, and some graphical products have used local time within the product header based on the time zone where the center of the tropical cyclone is currently located. For example, advisories for tropical cyclones centered in the central and western Gulf of Mexico have used Central Time, and those near the east coast of the United States or in the eastern Gulf have used Eastern Time.

In addition to the new storm surge tweak, new local time zones for systems in the eastern Atlantic will be added into this year’s updates. (NHC Image)

All other Atlantic basin tropical cyclone advisories have referenced Atlantic Standard Time.

This however, can be problematic for systems affecting the Cabo Verde Islands or other locations in the northeastern Atlantic basin where locations are 3 to 4 hours ahead of Eastern Time.

Beginning in 2020, systems located south of 25°N and east of 30°W will use Cape Verde Standard Time (GMT-1) and systems north of 25°N and east of 45°W will use Greenwich Mean Time (equivalent to Azores Summer Time). These times will be used for the public advisory (TCP), discussion (TCD), update (TCU), and all graphical products that use local time.

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