Hurricanes – What is SAL ?

Today we thought we take you into the different climatological  and environmental aspect of Hurricanes and what effects them in today’s post we will cover SAL

Saharan Air Layer (SAL) – is an elevated layer of Saharan air and mineral dust and occurs during the late spring through early fall over extensive portions of the North Atlantic Ocean between the Sahara Desert, the West Indies, and the United States.

SAL is a dry air mass driven off of Saharan Desert and can sometimes be abundant with dust as seen in the above figure. Dry air will definitely suppress thunderstorm development and weaken tropical cyclones causing downdrafts to occur around the storm.  Below are two images of impacts of Sal.. first showing the current Sal and the second a Water Vapor Loop also showing the extent of dry air in the Atlantic basin.

One thing to Note..  Dry Air is not just a Africa Component.. it exists across the globe and is just as effective in degrading tropical cyclone and thunderstorm development.

A perfect example of that is in June of 2020 with tropical storm #Cristobal where further increase of development was hampered due to significant amount of dry air (yellow) was to the West of the system and was being pulled into it.

One of the benefits of having dust in the atmosphere is that it promotes fantastic evening sunsets. 


SAL is usually prevalent during the early part of the Hurricane season but begins to relax as we get into late July, but its not always the rule. We have seen seasons where SAL has basically shut down any development in the MDR ( Main Development Region) for almost the entire season.

Here is a Satellite view of current SAL conditions in the Atlantic:

Here is a recent Tweet from Dr. Michael Ventrice with regards to our state currently:

Hurricane Preparedness Week May 9th-15th

Be ready for hurricane season. Today you can determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and review/update insurance policies. You can also make a list of items to replenish hurricane emergency supplies and start thinking about how you will prepare your home for the coming hurricane season. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, you are encouraged to complete these simple preparations before hurricane season begins on June 1.  Keep in mind, you may need to adjust any preparedness actions based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.

PLEASE VISIT for more.

We also encouarge you to visit or for more preparedness information and planning.

Severe Weather Climatology, Risks and Information

tornado-widescreen-wallpaper-tv00tSevere Weather Climatology

Obviously severe weather can happen all year round, but for the Delaware region most of the threat is usually contained in the late spring and summer months. A ‘Severe Thunderstorm’ is one that produces winds 58 mph or stronger and/or hail 1 inch in diameter or larger. Below shows the probability of severe storms in the continental U.S. based on 30 years of climate data. Each frame is one day from March to August.

Majority of the significant threats are wind related and flooding that usually accompanies strong thunderstorms. Tornado activity in the region is not frequent but can occur. A majority of these storms are usually at the low end of the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF0-EF2). The EF Scale rates the strength of tornadoes in the United States and Canada based on the damage they cause.


The Storm Prediction Center

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is part of the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). 2014_SPC-2.1Located in Norman Oklahoma, their mission is to provide timely and accurate forecasts and watches for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes over the contiguous United States. The SPC also monitors hazardous winter weather and fire weather events across the U.S. and issues specific products for those hazards. The SPC uses a suite of products and multiple of specialists from lead forecasters, mesoscale forecasters, outlook forecasters and etc. that continuously monitor the continental US for the potential for severe damaging weather events. (For more info on the SPC go here –> About the SPC)

Risk Categories Associated with SPC’s Outlooks

Here is an example of  a Day One Outlook issued by the SPC and definitions of the categories.



The Difference Between Watch and Warning


Understanding the purpose of a watch is important and should not be confused with a warning. A warning means that hazardous weather is occurring at the moment / imminent and you should take actions to protect yourself. Below is a full list of categories issued by the SPC and NWS Offices.

ICE Threats This Weekend and Next Week

February 12, 2021

Good Morning.. 
A very active pattern continues for the Delaware and Eastern Shore over the next week or so. Confidence level for any specifics mentioned below is low ;however, guidance has been extremely repetitive on the chance of some ICE Events for portions of Central and Northern Delaware along with the Eastern Shore.

Today a low pressure system off the Carolina’s will move East and out ot sea.
The precipitation shield associated with this may spark the conversational snow in the most Southern regions of the state. No accumulation is expected.

Saturday another low will slide North and there is the potential of a Wintry Mix moving into the region from morning hours especially in the South. This should spread North eventually affecting all of Delaware.

Precipitation continues thru Sunday and there will be a greater chance of  Sleet along with Freezing Rain especially for North Central and Northern Delaware. The  wintry mix should change to rain for our Southern region.

As it stands right now per the latest forecast discussion precip is expected to be on the lighter side. Advisories may be issued where freezing rain is more prevalent. 

Confidence on where the ice / freezing rain will develop is low.


While we may have a break on Monday a larger low pressure system will make its wayin on Tuesday making for a very tricky forecast.


Look at the GFS ‘Total Accumulated’ Ice 

The take away from all this is that there’s a possibility again of a wintry mix and models have been more consistent with more freezing rain but this could very well be all rain in areas as well.It will depend on the placement of the low. and its movement thru the region.

Another System is to affect the region Thursday – Friday time frame. 
Right now it does appear that we may be the ‘warm sector’ for this event but,this will need to be monitored as well.  

In Closing

We just want folks to be aware that the potential is there for Ice Events and as we mentioned earlier even the potential of low liquid equivalent ( such as Sunday) there is the potential of impacts.

In regards to Tuesday even though the models have been bullish on a more significant ice event this is not a forecast. We feel that it cant be dismissed as a threat and that you should at least be aware and monitor NWS Mount Holly’s website for more information as we move through the weekend.

Winter Weather Patterns

Is Winter Finally On The Way ??

Look at the big Picture

Let us begin to look at the larger state of the climate based on El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Phase.  We are currently trending in a La Nina state with the potential of that diminishing as we head thru Winter Months. With waters cooler in the Pacific Equatorial here is a generalistic look at what we usually see during these periods.

Now there are multiple on-going factors that need to be taken in consideration, and obvious La Nina conditions can differ with other factors that are in play. Forecasting long range are ‘best guess’ based on what current conditions are likely to be.

Here is a reminder of the 2020 – 2021 Winter Outlook from CPC:
(Click either pic to go to the NOAA CPC Page for more detail)

NOTE That the above Climate Forecast is just that, and typically there are cases that could be dismissed as not 100% accurate over time. There have been plenty of La Nina seasons where our regions have seen greater then average snowfall.


Modiki El Nino  Not A Concern for 2020-2021 Season

 Modiki El Nino Is when portions of the ENSO are actually cooler then normal on the West of South America. This usually drives colder temperatures for the East and Mid Atlantic. 


Take note of the above average temperatures near the Mid-Atlantic along with a very evident La Nina
Storms without sufficient cold air mass especially with winds from East to West mean snow difficulties especially along the Coastal Plain.


Other major factors are what we call teleconnection patterns. Teleconnection refers to a recurring and persistent, large-scale pattern of pressure / circulation anomalies that spans vast geographical areas in the atmosphere.

So lets try to go through and give you a graphical representation of each, and try to explain how a -NAO -AO and +PNA are the best set up for a Mid-Atlantic / East Coast for winter storm setup.

Below is a look at characteristics of a Negative / Positive Arctic Oscillation (AO)


You can see here in a negative phase that the cold in the stratosphere is basically displaced into Canada and North America.

Here is a graphical representation of a North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and its general effects:

NAO2A Negative NAO  is also sometimes referred as the Greenland Block , East Based NAO because high pressure establishes itself there allowing for the strongest flow of cold into the Mid Atlantic. West based NAO where high is positioned move over Canada is little less favorable.

… and Finally A Look at the Pacific North American (PNA) Pattern

ElNino_Mod (1)

Image by Steve Tracton (2010)

Positive PNA is also sometimes referred to as  a ‘zonal flow’ usually brings milder conditions from the west straight along to the east.


So wait then, why did we see snow then here in December of 2013 where the patterns didint match any of these and we still got good snow fall totals ???

There is another pattern called the East Pacific Oscillation (EPO)

 The EPO is the high altitude  wind flow over the Eastern Pacific which is influenced by the ocean temps.. When the EPO is in a positive phase, there is usually troughing on the West Coast, while milder air engulfs the inland and Eastern part of the country. The positive EPO limits troughs in the East.  When the EPO is in a negative phase it has the opposite effect on the East Coast where a -EPO encourages a northwesterly flow from Canada into the Eastern part of the U.S, allowing for cold air to intrude, but without the assistance of a stronger -AO or -NAO we end up with more transient shots of cold air  that usually support snow more west of the coastal plain as we saw in 2013.


Maden Julian Oscillation – MJO can be a strong influences to extreme events our weather. Though we usually talk about this during hurricane season and tropical development it can have a profound influence during the winter including Arctic air outbreaks during the winter months.

MJO is large propagating area of tropical convection (showers and thunderstorms) that has a strong influence in Jet Stream patterns. Patterns can cycle from 40-50 days and travel eastward across the tropical equator.  The MJO is classified in Phases as it moves through each of the regions as dictated in the forecast below. We usually see effects in regions 7 8 & 1. The further away from the circle the stronger the effects.  (Circle is sometimes categorized as the Circle of Death because the effects are minimal.)

Current MJO Forecast

Generalistic Look at the MJO and its effects in each phase.

Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW)

A Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) of the atmosphere refers to a swift jump in temperatures in the stratosphere and its impact on the Polar Vortex. The infamous Polar Vortex is a large gyre of extremely cold air that usually circumducts the Arctic Circle. When a strong sudden warming event occurs it causes the Polar Vortex to split and drives these vortices ( 2 or 3)  of arctic air Southward. When this occurs, the Jet Stream gets enhanced and sets up a strong pattern for Cold and possibly Stormy Events for the East and Mid-Atlantic.


Image Courtesy of @WeatherProf  Jeff Berardelli in Article from CBS Located Here



Water Temperatures – This early into the year, water temps usually dont help us on the coastal plain that much. It is usually not till we get more into the heart of the winter season when water temps get cooler and have a less dramatic effect on potential snow storms.

Finally Storm Track – Inland storms also favor snow to West and rain to the East, with a South to South West wind bring warm temps during the storm, and then cold air as the system moves out with slight chance of snow on the back-end.


Okay so what are we seeing today that may be indication that white winter is coming… ( or NOT coming) ?

AO – Trending Negative
NAO – Trending  Positive

PNA -Positive
EPO – Positive (Like to see Negative)
MJO – Outlook to Phase 4 or 5  (Like to see in 1 & 2 or even 7 & 8)

The above teleconnections are really relative right now of December 16th snow event in the Mid-Atlantic. If the patterns remain persistent and a more significant cold pattern develops (such as some arctic intrusions with some really cold temps as we head into late January) we could see more wintery weather during the second half of 2020-2021 season. Tight now though.. for the coastal plain its not in the cards just yet.

Though we are not in the heart of winter yet we still have a way to go and we recommend you prepare for it in any case. Make sure you have a Winter Kit for your vehicle including warmers, de-icers, extra blankets, shovel etc.

You cant go wrong by being prepared !



August 4th, #ISAIAS Supplemental Report to Damage

Sent: Tue, Aug 25, 2020 1:03 pm
Subject: Fwd: August 4th Additional Report 1 of 3

Good Day.. we didn’t receive any acknowledgement of our last email.. but we did happen to meet with Neal Dukes last week. After our initial conversation I became little curious that on August 4th during Isaias little after the 9am time frame, wind event at my residence might have been related to Neal’s report.

(Our apologies for the multiple notes, for some reason I’ve had issues trying to compile, save and send) 


A.Cedar Swamp Road Approx 2.4 Miles in From Route 9 (Flemmings Landing Rd)
Environment: Wooded Area Surrounded by Marsh
Damage: Full Tree Damage Either Totally Fallen or Broken Half to 3/4 Way Down. 
Fall Direction: North West Between 310° and 318°
Length of Path: Approx  .14 of a Mile
Width of Path: Approx  20 Yards (Difficult to determine due to environment)

Video: See Video A


B. Tree Down At Residence on North Side of Cedar Swamp Road


C. Just past that and just North West of the initial line we found more tree damage adjacent to farm field.

See Video —>

We were not able to look at any other areas within the path line due to marsh areas and farm roads that were cabled closed; however, aprox. 5 or so miles NW  from the damage we did see trees down around the corner of our residence in the area of Coleman’s Christmas Tree Farm on Route 9

Again our apologies for the 3 separate notes on this issue but for some technical issues would not allow me to compile, save, and send this in one note.

In closing I just found this a tad too much of a coincidence that these were in-line and would thought we should share.,

OUR THANKS TO NEAL DUKES for providing us remote access and drone coverage of the area.

Tropical Storm Isaias Leaves Many without Power and Damage.

On August 3rd, 2020 Hurricane Isaisas makes land fall at Ocean Isle Beach, NC as it accelerated to the North toward the Delmarva.

Tropical Storm Winds Along with potential of Locally heavy rain anywhere between 3 to 6 inches with local possibilities of even 8+ were forecasted for the region.

“As Isaias tracked to the NNE through the area early Tuesday morning, a north-south oriented surface boundary set up on the north side of the storm (just to the east of I-95). On the east side of the boundary, winds were mainly out of the SE with temperatures in the upper 70s-around 80F and surface dew points in the mid to upper 70s. To the west of the boundary, winds were generally out of the north with temperatures and dew points in the upper 60s-around 70F. “

“As the storm’s structure evolved, the strongest winds were maintained on the east side of the storm. Numerous wind gusts to strong tropical storm force were measured especially in New Jersey, Delaware, and eastern Maryland, with a few hurricane force gusts reported. In addition, several tornadoes occurred along and east of the storm track. Meanwhile, west of the storm’s center, very heavy rainfall occurred, with the greatest amounts over eastern Maryland, southeast Pennsylvania, and the Lehigh Valley region. Widespread rainfall totals of 4 to 7 inches were reported with a few amounts in excess of 7 to 8 inches. This led to both severe flash flooding as well as significant river flooding.”*

*National Weather Service Mount Holly


At: 2020-08-04 08:50 UTC 04:50 Local We received our first Tornado Warning in SE Sussex County.

From there on we had multiple report of and warnings in Kent Count, Delaware Eastern Shore of MD and finally in New Castle County Delaware which was around 09:21 am Local.

NOUS41 KPHI 061959

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Mount Holly NJ
359 PM EDT Thu Aug 6 2020


.Kent and New Castle County Delaware Tornado...

Start Location...Dover in Kent County, Delaware
End Location...Middletown in New Castle County, Delaware
Date...August 4, 2020
Estimated Time...8:55 AM EDT to 9:25 AM EDT
Maximum EF-Scale Rating...EF1
Estimated Maximum Wind Speed...105 mph
Maximum Path Width...200 yards
Path Length...29.2 miles
Beginning Lat/Lon...39.10N/75.50W
Ending Lat/Lon...39.48N/75.74W
* Fatalities...0
* Injuries...0

The tornado touched down in the vicinity of the Eagle Meadows 
Apartment Homes on Sorghum Mill Road in Kent County then moved 
across Route 10. It tracked nearly parallel to South State Street 
through Anneville, the south side of Dover, where significant tree damage occurred, including some treetops shredded from Poplar Lane to the neighborhood around Steele Road. It was here where  some roof damage occurred to some homes especially due to fallen trees, however a garage was significantly damaged on Dyer’s Tree Farm. The tornado then crossed over Route 13 near the Eden Medical Center and very near the William Henry Middle School. A couple sections of the school’s roof were blown off along with some tree damage nearby. A warehouse adjacent to the school had a few sections of its metal walls torn off and a couple of tractor trailer trailers flipped onto their side. The tornado then crossed over Walker Road at Route 15 then to Westminster Village at Dover near the intersection of Route 15 and College Road.

The tornado then tracked northward just east of Cheswold where 
the damage may have been more sporadic before moving through the 
east side of Smyrna where more notable tree damage occurred. A 96 
mph wind gust was measured at a Delaware Department of 
Transportation weather station located on Route 1 just north of 
Smyrna as the tornadic circulation passed by. From here, the 
tornado continued nearly parallel to Routes 1 and 13 on the east 
sides of Townsend and Middletown in New Castle County. Numerous 
trees were snapped or uprooted along portions of Blackbird Landing Road and Gum Bush Road in Townsend with some damage to roofs. A  garage at a residence on Blackbird Landing Road was destroyed. The tornado then damaged homes in Middletown along Spring Hollow Drive. In this neighborhood, some homes had roof material and siding blown off with numerous trees uprooted. Several garage doors were blown out. One home had an entire side wall blown out, although construction appeared to be poor. One picture showed a home with a missing exterior corner wall on the second story. The tornado may have started to dissipate between Mount Pleasant and Glasgow in New Castle County, however it is possible the tornado track extended into Cecil County, Maryland. Doppler radar data showed a continuous and well defined rotational signature and a tornado debris signature.

Special thanks is extended to Kent County and New Castle County 
Emergency Management, trained spotters, and the public for their 
extensive assistance with this survey.

2020 Hurricane Seasonal Outlook.


First all let us preface this by stating we are not running around screaming red alert or the sky is falling, however; with the recent releases of multiple Hurricane 2020 forecasts from the likes of Colorado State, North Carolina State, The Weather Company (IBM), WeatherBell, and etc., the outlooks could be well stated as concerning.

We will try to explain why we may see an above average hurricane season and in turn why it could also be a hyperactive one as well. We will examine what you may want to be doing now and as we enter Hurricane Preparedness week in May.

Overview: ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation)

In its simplest terms, all severe weather is mostly based on how a parcel of air rises in the atmosphere and develops into a thunderstorm. This is not any truer then in the Tropical environment where rising motion along with the an abundance of fuel ( above normal sea surface temperatures), and lack of wind shear, can ultimately allow these thunderstorms to thrive and develop into the monster storms we call Hurricanes.

What is ENSO (El Niño / La Niña) ??

Look at ENSO

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a recurring climate pattern involving changes in the temperature of waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. El Niño and La Niña are the extreme phases of the ENSO cycle; between these two phases is a third phase called ENSO-neutral.

In general, warm El Niño events are characterized by more tropical storms and hurricanes in the eastern Pacific and a decrease in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The increased wind shear helps to prevent tropical disturbances from developing into hurricanes.

La Niña is a climate pattern that describes the cooling of surface ocean waters along the tropical west coast of South America. Alternatively, wind shear characteristics are opposite a El Niño typically yielding more tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and fewer in the Pacific where wind shear is greater.

Example of shear a) El Niño vs b) La Niña based on Westerly Winds.
Note that in ‘a)’ there is much greater zonal winds especially as we enter the upper atmosphere. This would typically cut-off thunderstorm tops and hamper further development.

( From Colorado State Tropical 2020-04 Extended Forecast:
From Colorado State

Look Ahead : SST Anomalies and ENSO Forecast

Current Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies

Right now temperatures are running above normal across a large portion of Niño areas, Gulf of Mexico, and MDR (Main Development Region)

Warmer Sea Surface Temperatures:

“(Knaff 1997), when the Azores High is weaker than normal, Atlantic trade winds are also weaker than normal. These weaker trades inhibit ocean mixing and upwelling, thereby causing anomalous warming of tropical Atlantic SSTs. These warmer SSTs are then associated with lower-than- normal sea level pressures which can create a self-enhancing feedback that relates to lower pressure, weaker trades and warmer SSTs during the hurricane season (Knaff 1998). All three of these factors are associated with active hurricane seasons.” – (Via Colorado State Tropical Extended Range 04.2020 Forecast

Although Niño areas are warm currently, looking at that from a surface perspective is little deceiving. There are cooler waters are trying to make there way to surface and should progress over next several months. The following graphic depicts water temperature and its corresponding depth. (Note all the cold water edging its way to the surface eroding away at the warm waters in the Pacific.)

We will now take look at the forecast in the coming months via the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

Looking ahead from July forward most guidance is suggesting ENSO will most likey be Neutral to La Niña for the heart of the hurricane season. The unknown is how strong this oscillation will be and how its effects will ultimately power the season overall but, as you can see with already warmer then average water in the Atlantic, combined with a ENSO forecast that will most likely help augment an above average hurricane season.

So am I Going to See a Hurricane Where I Live ?

Fact is, no one knows… we are trying to take a somewhat generalist approach here in terms of educating and understanding what might come. The amount of statistical work ( including all the predictors which we haven’t even begun to discuss) going into these forecasts are just amazing, however; they do not constitute a ‘sure thing’ !

Effects of these storms are extremely variable based on multiple factors that account for a hurricanes size, wind field, storm surge, rainfall, steering, and of course geographical and demographic influences.

“The probability of landfall for any one location along the coast is very low and reflects the fact that, in any one season, most U.S. coastal areas will not feel the effects of a hurricane no matter how active the individual season is.”

Its a game probabilities and possibilities as it were, with that though comes the reality that 2020 hurricane activity might be about 140% or plus the average season. Statistically that could mean a greater chance of a land-falling hurricane to the United States especially in the Gulf and South East States.

Going through an active Hurricane Season on heels of already disastrous world wide pandemic is obviously not what we want to see yet, as in any risk there are steps you can take to mitigate and manage. There are multiple tools and programs established through FEMA and NOAA to make a plan. Use the preparedness time in May and June to develop/enhance or review your plan.


CSU’s Preliminary Forecast:

Colorado State Tropical Meteorological Project 04.20 Extended Forecast:

National Hurricane Center :

2020 NHC Updated Product and Services

CPC Enso site :

Mark Sudduth @hurricanetrack from, with Ben Knoll @BenNollWeather discuss climate / atmospheric features as relates to the 2020 Hurricane Season.

Hurricanes an Overview

What is a Hurricane ?

The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1 and ends November 30 of each year.

A hurricane is a Topical Cyclone with sustained winds reaching speeds of 74 mph or higher.

?? Okay.. so whats a Tropical Cyclone..??

Well basically put.. a tropical cyclone has the following characteristics, a warm core low pressure system that develops over tropical (and sometimes subtropical) waters, and has an organized circulation. The categories of these systems are usually based on surface winds and are as follows:

Tropical Disturbance – A discrete tropical weather system of apparently organized convection usually maintaining  itself over period of 24 hours and can be associated with easterly waves off of Africa.

Tropical Depression – When a tropical disturbance develops a closed circulation (e.g., counter-clockwise winds blowing around a center of low pressure), it is categorized as a tropical depression. Tropical depressions contain max. sustained one-minute winds of 38 mph (33 knots) or less, at an elevation of 10 meters.

Tropical Storm – A tropical cyclone is given a name by the National Hurricane Center once it reaches tropical storm status. Tropical storms have maximum sustained one-minute winds of 39-73 mph (34-63 knots).

Current Name List 

Hurricane – Hurricanes have sustained one-minute winds of at least 74 mph (64 knots), at an elevation of 10 meters. Winds in most hurricanes can become much stronger. Hurricanes are categorized on a scale of 1 to 5 based on their wind speed via the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. (<–See link for types of damage associated each category)

Major Hurricane – A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph (96 knots) or higher, corresponding to a Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.


Number of Tropical Cyclones per 100 Years

The above chart shows the distribution of the number of storms over a 100 hear period. The  peak of the season is from mid-August to late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season.


Below graphic shows also the associated areas where storm originates as the season progresses.


 Whats important to note here is that a hurricane does not necessarily have to originate from Africa.. though those that normally due usually can be more



The figures below show the zones of origin and tracks for different months during the hurricane season. These figures only depict average conditions. Hurricanes can originate in different locations and travel much different paths from the average. Nonetheless, having a sense of the general pattern can give you a better picture of the average hurricane season for your area.

danger     HAZARDS    danger


    • Along the coast, storm surge is often the greatest threat to life and property from a hurricane. In the past, large death tolls have resulted from the rise of the ocean associated with many of the major hurricanes that have made landfall. Hurricane Katrina (2005) is a prime example of the damage and devastation that can be caused by surge. At least 1500 persons lost their lives during Katrina and many of those deaths occurred directly, or indirectly, as a result of storm surge.

    • Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides. Storm surge should not be confused with storm tide, which is defined as the water level rise due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide. This rise in water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas particularly when storm surge coincides with normal high tide, resulting in storm tides reaching up to 20 feet or more in some cases.

  • High Winds

    • Tropical storm-force winds are strong enough to be dangerous to those caught in them. For this reason, emergency managers plan on having their evacuations complete and their personnel sheltered before the onset of tropical storm-force winds, not hurricane-force winds.
    • Hurricane force winds of 74 mph or more, can destroy buildings and mobile homes. Debris, such as signs, roofing material, siding and small items left outside become flying missiles during hurricanes. Winds can stay above hurricane strength well inland.

  • Rain / Flooding

    • Tropical cyclones often produce widespread, torrential rains in excess of 6 inches, which may result in deadly and destructive floods. In fact, flooding is the major threat from tropical cyclones for people living inland. Flash flooding, defined as a rapid rise in water levels, can occur quickly due to intense rainfall. Longer term flooding on rivers and streams can persist for several days after the storm. When approaching water on a roadway, always remember Turn Around Don’t Drown.

  • Tornadoes

    • Hurricanes and tropical storms can also produce tornadoes. These tornadoes most often occur in thunderstorms embedded in rain bands well away from the center of the hurricane; however, they can also occur near the eyewall. Usually, tornadoes produced by tropical cyclones are relatively weak and short-lived, but they still pose a significant threat.

We will be posting more on hurricanes as we get closer to the heart of the hurricane season..including the Impediments to Storm Development, NHC  Forecasting Models,  NHC Aircraft Reconnaissance, FEMA;s Role and some information on what occurs locally when we are effected by tropical systems.




National Hurricane Center’s Web Site