Hurricane Watch, Hurricane Warning, Storm Surge and Flooding
Hurricane Watch, Hurricane Warning, Storm Surge and Coastal Flooding are the keywords we want to discuss a little further. Despite all technology that is used, hurricanes are weather phenomena which are still not easy to predict.
The government will issue a HURRICANE WATCH for your part of the coast when weather data indicate that there is the possibility that you could experience hurricane conditions within the next 36 hours. However, keep in mind that this is meaning that there is only a chance of getting hit by a storm. So far there is absolutely no certainty, only a chance.
A HURRICANE WARNING is issued for your part of the coast indicates that you can expect sustained** winds of at least 74 mph within the next 24 hours. Now it is time to keep the TV on and frequently check back with the weather people. The local authorities might already issue a partial or complete evacuation. If it is not that bad, it is at the least time to start with necessary preparations. Just in case, and keep in mind that there is a chance that you might lose power for hours or days. So, Hurricane Watch is just a precaution; Hurricane Warning is serious.
Hurricanes come with a Storm Surge
The water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm is called “STORM SURGE”. This advancing surge, combined with the normal tide, can create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level up to 20 feet and more.
In the last 30 years, INLAND FLOODING has been responsible for more than half the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States. In flood zones along the coast and areas close to rivers, this is the real concern.
Hurricane – Force – Winds
Powerfull HURRICANE – FORCE – WINDS can destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes within a blink of an eye. Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left outside become flying missiles in hurricanes. Only hurricane shutters can prevent significant damages. Don’t go outside; those missiles can kill you!
Hurricanes can produce TORNADOS that add to the storm’s destructive power. Tornadoes are most likely to occur in the right-front quadrant of the hurricane. The right-front quadrant is the section of the storm where the rain and the wind are already the heaviest.
** Sustained winds are defined as a 1-minute average wind measured at about 33 ft (10 meters) above the surface.