New forecasting tool eyed for hurricane season

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Associated Press & 13News

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Updated Friday, May 24 at 6:40 PM

MIAMI - After storms like Sandy inundated coastal areas last year, forecasters have developed an experimental model to show potential areas of impact in a deadly "storm surge," the biggest killer and home buster.

2012 was all about water, water, water. Debbie. Isaac. Sandy. It was storm surge from the Ocean, it was river flooding and inland flooding.

Storm surge is when a hurricane pushes water ashore.

"What storm surge you get at one spot, depends on the track, the size, the shape of the coastline, the depth of the water, all of these factors, the angle of approach, and the forward speed. It's a very difficult parameter to forecast," said National Hurricane Center Director Rick Knabb.

Because it can be hard to predict, the Center is testing an experimental graphic/map that would show the potential flooding due to storm surge.

"With so much of Hampton Roads vulnerable to tidal or coastal flooding, having a more precise understanding of the storm surge impacts which can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, could be critically important in helping people protect life and property," says 13News Meteorologist Craig Moeller. 

It won't be ready by the start of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane season, which is June 1, but forecasters hope it will be in place by the peak of the season in August.   

In April, forecasters predicted the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season should be significantly busier than normal, with 18 named storms, including nine hurricanes — four of them major.

 

Hurricane season ends November 30. 

 

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