16B.2A NOAA's Recent Improvements in Storm Surge Forecasts and Warnings

Friday, 20 April 2018: 11:15 AM
Masters ABCD (Sawgrass Marriott)
Cody L. Fritz, NOAA/NWS/NCEP/NHC, Miami, FL; and J. R. Rhome

Statistical studies have shown that 49% of deaths related to tropical cyclones are directly attributed to storm surge, much of which results from a deficiency in the public’s overall understanding of storm surge and their associated risk when tropical cyclones do make landfall. In recent years, hurricanes such as Katrina, Ike, and Sandy have re-emphasized the obligatory call to action to advance hurricane research and operations related to the hazard of storm surge and therefore develop mitigation strategies in response that would dramatically reduce loss of life. To help improve such deficits, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Weather Service’s (NWS) National Hurricane Center (NHC) over the last several years made a significant effort to generate products that would enhance the communication aspect of the storm surge hazard. As a result, NHC implemented two operational storm surge products issued when a hurricane impacts U.S coastal communities: the high-resolution potential storm surge flooding map operational in 2016 and the storm surge watch and warning made operational this year. This presentation will address the development of these two new communication techniques and evaluate their performance over the active 2017 hurricane season.
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