Tuesday, 12 January 2016: 3:30 PM
Room 344 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
As of the end of July 2015, the United States has still not experienced the landfall of a major hurricane, defined as category 3 or stronger on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, since 2005. Nevertheless, several other hurricanes and tropical storms have come ashore and resulted in major impacts and loss of life in this country. Many of those impacts and losses have been due to water, with storm surge causing extensive damages in coastal areas and freshwater floods extending well inland. As exemplified by Katrina, storm surge poses a greater threat for large loss of life in a single day than any other weather-related hazard, and even prior to more recent storm surge events including Ike 2008 and Sandy 2012, the NHC has been working toward new storm surge products and warnings scheduled to be implemented operationally during the next couple of years. Work is also underway to be able to issue tropical cyclone forecasts and warnings even prior to the formation of a tropical cyclone, with potential debut of this capability in 2016, so that even more timely watches and warnings can be issued for storms like Katrina that form close to the U. S. coast. Looking forward over the next decade, NHC aims to participate in improved forecast and warning information for extratropical storm surge, storm surge affecting international locations within the NHC areas of forecast responsibility, and fresh water flooding extending well inland in many tropical cyclones. NHC is also enhancing its outreach and education program in collaboration with partners in order to tangibly increase public preparedness well in advance of the next hurricane, so that people are ready to take the proper actions when forecasts and warnings are issued, and the benefits of all of the changes during the past decade and in the one to come are fully realized.
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