3.6 Changes to NWS Tropical Cyclone Products and Services

Friday, 23 June 2017: 11:30 AM
Salon II (InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza)
Jessica L. Schauer, NOAA/NWS/AFS, Miami, FL

Starting with the 2017 hurricane season, NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) will issue a suite of new storm surge watch and warning products. Storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a tropical cyclone, and it doesn’t always occur at the same times or locations as a storm’s hazardous winds. In addition, while in many cases coastal residents can remain in their homes (or in a secure structure nearby) and be safe from a tropical cyclone’s winds, evacuations are generally needed to keep people safe from storm surge.

The ability to issue separate warnings for these two hazards will save lives by better identifying the specific tropical cyclone hazards communities face. Operational storm surge watches and warnings will highlight areas along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the continental United States that have a significant risk of life-threatening inundation from a tropical cyclone, a subtropical cyclone, or a post-tropical cyclone.

In addition, the NWS plans to issue tropical cyclone watches and warnings for tropical disturbances that have not yet become a tropical cyclone, but pose a threat of bringing tropical storm or hurricane conditions or life-threatening tropical cyclone storm surge inundation to land areas within 48 hours. These changes will affect the way broadcasters communicate and display official tropical cyclone watches and warnings from the NWS. This presentation will outline these products and services in greater detail and provide broadcasters with information they can use to incorporate these changes into their messaging and operations.

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