489 Tropical Storm Bill – Overview of Societal Impacts, Response and Local Decision Support Challenges and Successes

Monday, 11 January 2016
Thomas Johnstone, NOAA/NWSFO, Old Hickory, TN; and J. S. Evans, L. Wood, and J. Metz

Tropical Storm Bill made landfall along Matagorda Island in Calhoun County, TX at 11:45 a.m. June 16th, 2015. Bill had maximum sustained winds around 60 mph and a minimum central pressure of 997 mb as it moved onshore. Impacts from the storm were considerable. Rainfall of 8 to 14 inches caused significant flooding, tropical storm force winds downed trees, and a storm surge as high as 3.5 feet inundated coastal roads and damaged or destroyed several piers.

This poster will provide an overview of NWS Decision Support Services (DSS) before and during Bill's landfall. A focus will be how useful new NHC products like the 5-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook and Probabilistic Storm Surge Graphics were in communicating expected impacts to key partners. Additionally we will show the challenges many key partners faced by the fact that Bill was not officially named, and thus Tropical Storm Warnings were not issued, until late in the evening before landfall. Finally we will outline how local NWS offices in Texas have made considerable strides coordinating DSS activities to provide a more consistent and cohesive message to key partners at the state and local level.

Bill's landfall also featured the first large scale activation of NWS Southern Region's Supplemental Assistance Volunteer Initiative (SAVI). SAVI volunteers from around the Region significantly enhanced NWS, local media, and key partner situational awareness by providing numerous real time reports gathered from various social media feeds. This poster will feature a discussion of the SAVI program, as well as some of the lessons learned during the SAVI activation for T.S. Bill.

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