Weather service to issue hurricane wind, storm surge warnings

Jesse Risley

Staff member
Apr 12, 2006
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Macomb, IL
www.tornadoguys.com
Story Reference: http://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2015/04/04/weather-service-issue-hurricane-wind-storm-surge-warnings/25300115/

Five weather experts came together Saturday to shed some light on how weather works and safety at the Weather-Ready Nation Symposium, hosted by the student chapter of the American Meteorological Society at Florida Tech's Gleason Auditorium.

Speakers were:

•Will Ulrich, an alum, from the National Weather Service in Melbourne, who talked about Central Florida-specific weather hazards.

•William Roeder, from the 45th Weather Squadron at Patrick Air Force Base, who discussed lightning safety and debunked myths related to lightning.

•Debbie Coles, from Brevard Emergency Management, who shared information about severe weather and emergency management.

•Florida Tech's Dr. George Maul, who discussed coastal hazards.

•Brian Zachry, a Florida Tech alum from the National Hurricane Center, whose presentation focused on hurricane storm surge.

Zachry talked about a new watch and warning system the National Hurricane Center will implement this year.

"This is the first year we'll have an explicit storm surge watch and warning. Typically, we just have a hurricane watch and warning. Now, we're going to have two, one for each hazard — one for wind, one for storm surge. It's a completely new evolution for the National Weather Service," said Zachary, who added that it took five to 10 years to get the system into gear, an idea prompted by Hurricane Ike, which struck Texas in 2008.

Zachry also discussed the new potential storm surge flooding maps that debuted last year during Hurricane Arthur, which struck North Carolina in July.

Roeder emphasized the simplicity and importance of taking precautions against lightning.

"The most important thing about lightning safety is that it's easy to do," said William Roeder, who encouraged attendees to stay indoors when they heard thunder and to wait 30 minutes until after hearing the last boom before returning outside.

Ulrich spoke on hazards most common to east Central Florida, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and rip currents, and discussed how the National Weather Service is working to save property and lives.

He said that 40 tropical cyclones have approached Cape Canaveral since 1850.

"Some of the preconceived notions that people have here in Brevard County are that they put NASA here for the main reason that we don't get hurricanes, but the fact of the matter is that's not true."

Those in attendance expressed optimism that this would be the first in a string of such symposiums.

"I certainly hope this is the first inaugural and that it will become an annual event," said Roeder.