Mobile (WALA)- Today the National Hurricane Center unveiled an experimental storm surge watch and warning graphic that will be available next hurricane season. The new graphic is very similar to the hurricane watch and warning graphic that we are all familiar with.
A surge watch will posted when life-threatening surge is possible within 36 hours. A surge warning will mean an area is likely to have life-threatening surge within 24 hours.
Currently forecasters have forecast products and models to aid in predicting storm surge. What this new watch/warning graphic will do is simplify the areas of danger to the public and give emergency managers a tool to aid in evacuation planning.
Storm surge is the most destructive and deadly aspect of a tropical system. Coastal residents who feel they’re safe from the wind of a tropical system can often still be endangered by storm surge. This new graphic will separate the strong wind danger from the surge danger and provide a clearer picture of a storm’s potential hazards.