Northwest Suffolk Severe Watches & Warnings NOAA Weather Radio

Public Information Statement
Statement as of 6:00 am EDT on May 25, 2015

...National hurricane preparedness week is from may 24 to may 30...

Please join the National Weather Service forecast office in Upton New York in observing National hurricane preparedness week.

Todays topic is storm surge.

Storm surge is the deadliest hazard associated with hurricanes. It is an abnormal rise in the sea level produced by water being pushed to the shore by the force of the wind. This advancing surge combines with the normal tide levels to create a storm tide. To make matters worse...wind driven waves are superimposed on the storm tide and batter structures including boats right along the coast.

Storm surge is not just a coastal event...it can travel well inland with devastating consequences. How much storm surge you will experience depends on the hurricanes track...forward motion...maximum wind speed and size.

Because much of the United States densely populated Atlantic and Gulf Coast coastlines lie less than 10 feet above mean sea level...the danger from storm surge is tremendous. Thus...if you are asked to evacuate...you should do so without delay or hesitation.

Back in 2012...Hurricane Sandy took a track favorable to producing a historic storm surge across the region. The hardest hit areas were adjacent to New York Harbor and the South Shore of Long Island where a storm surge of 9 to 12 feet produced water levels of 4 to 8 feet above ground level...killing nearly 40 people and destroying many homes and businesses.

Another historic storm surge event was the Long Island express of 1938. This category three hurricane featured a storm surge of 10 to 12 feet...which killed 600 people on Long Island and along the southern New England coast.

Beginning with the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season...noaa's National Hurricane Center will issue the potential storm surge flooding map for those areas at risk of storm surge from a tropical cyclone. This new map will show geographical areas where inundation from storm surge could occur and how high above ground the water could reach in those areas. This product will be first issued with the issuance of a Hurricane Watch...and in some cases...with a tropical storm watch.

Noaa's National Hurricane Center web site has links to help you determine your vulnerability to storm surge.

Be prepared this hurricane season...and visit hurricanes.Gov and ready.Gov/hurricanes.