New tools to predict storm surge, guide evacuations - FOX 13 News

New tools to predict storm surge, guide evacuations

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The National Weather Service debuts a new tool to predict storm surge levels, right in time for hurricane season.

The National Weather Service says storm surge is the deadliest part of a hurricane. They say the problem is, many times the severity of storm surge doesn't necessarily match up with the category of the hurricane. They also say you can have serious storm surge in an area that's well out of a storm's immediate path.

The new storm surge model allows meteorologists to pinpoint the risk of storm surge down to specific neighborhoods, and even addresses. The new model will allow emergency managers to have a better idea of who to evacuate and when.

"Even if you're not going to get a direct hit from the storm itself, you can still be impacted by life-threatening storm surge. We saw that during Hurricane Sandy last year. We saw landfall in the New Jersey area, but the storm surge was felt in New York, Long Island, even into Connecticut, Rhode Island," National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Davis said Friday.

The National Weather Service has been working on the model for a few years now. It's going live with the start of hurricane season on Saturday.

Right now, it's open to the public, but only really intended for emergency managers to use. By 2015, the National Weather Service hopes to have the program so user friendly that you can plug your address in and get updated information on your home's risk of storm surge.




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