Online 24/7+Friendly Toll Free Service
6-6 Pacific/9-9 Eastern (Monday-Friday)

Monthly Archives: May 2014

  • Hurricane Preparedness

    Today is the last day of National Hurricane Preparedness Week.

    This past week we've shared:

    Do you feel more prepared? Are you ready for a cyclone, tropical storm or Hurricane? Tomorrow is the "official" start of Atlantic Hurricane Season and we've had some doozies over the past couple of years, so please get your plan together and prepare!

    NHC Senior Hurricane Specialist Stacy Stewart discusses the life-saving action to take before, during and after the storm.

    Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster! Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster!

    History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

    Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents. The National Weather Service is responsible for protecting life and property through issuance of timely watches and warnings, but it is essential that your family be ready before a storm approaches. Furthermore, mariners should be aware of special safety precautions when confronted with a hurricane.

    Download the Tropical Cyclone Preparedness Guide (PDF) or follow the links for more information. But remember, this is only a guide. The first and most important thing anyone should do when facing a hurricane threat is to use common sense.

    National Hurricane Preparedness Week 2014

    Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto
  • What is your Hurricane Preparedness Plan?

    We're nearing the end of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, and the beginning of the 2014 Hurricane Season is just around the corner - is your Hurricane Plan complete?

    According to NOAA - Hurricane Season Dates for 2014:

    Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and also ends November 30th.

    Hurricane Season Summaries and Reports

    Atlantic: Monthly Tropical Cyclone Summary | Tropical Cyclone Reports
    Eastern Pacific: Monthly Tropical Cyclone Summary | Tropical Cyclone Reports

    FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate explains the importance of having a hurricane plan.

    American-Red-Cross-Emergency-Kits

    Hurricanes can cause loss of life and catastrophic damage to property along
    coastlines and can extend several hundred miles inland. The extent of damage
    varies according to the size and wind intensity of the storm, the amount and
    duration of rainfall, the path of the storm, and other factors such as the number
    and type of buildings in the area, the terrain, and soil conditions. The effects
    include the following:
    • Death or injury to people and animals;
    • Damage or destruction of buildings and other structures;
    • Disruption of transportation, gas, power, communications, and other services;
    • Coastal flooding from heavy rains and storm surge; and
    • Inland flooding from heavy rains.  
    Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster! Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster!

    Store supplies so you can grab them quickly if you need to evacuate; know in advance what else you will need to take.

    Take time now to make a list of the things you would need or want to take with you if you had to leave your home quickly.
    Store the basic emergency supplies in a “Go Bag” or other container. Be ready to
    grab other essential items quickly before leaving. Remember to include specialized
    items for people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, such
    as older adults, children, and those with Limited English Proficiency.
    When making your list, consider the Five Ps of Evacuation
    PEOPLE
    • People and, if safely
    • possible, pets and
    • other animals or
    • livestock
    PRESCRIPTIONS
    • Prescriptions, with
    • dosages; medicines;
    • medical equipment;
    • batteries or power
    • cords; eyeglasses;
    • and hearing aids
    PAPERS
    • Papers, including
    • important documents
    • (hard copies and/or
    • electronic copies
    • saved on external
    • hard drives or portable
    • thumb drives)
    PERSONAL NEEDS
    • Personal needs—such as
    • clothes, food, water, first aid kit,
    • cash, phones, and chargers—
    • and items for people with
    • disabilities and others with
    • access and/or functional needs,
    • such as older adults, children,
    • and those with Limited English
    • Proficiency
    PRICELESS ITEMS
    • Priceless items, including
    • pictures, irreplaceable
    • mementos, and other
    • valuables
    How to Prepare for a Hurricane DOWNLOAD THE FREE GUIDE! How to Prepare for a Hurricane

    Store supplies you will need to live at home with no power.

    Even if you are
    in an area that was not asked to evacuate, you may still lose power and the water
    supply to your home. Depending on the strength of the hurricane and its impact on
    your community, you could be in your home with no power or other basic services
    for several weeks. Think about items you require for this situation. Keep these
    supplies on hand in your home. For a full list of supplies for your emergency
    supply kit.
    Here are some suggestions to consider:
    • Flashlight and radio, either hand-cranked or battery-powered, with extra batteries;
    • At least 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least 3 days. A normally active
    • person needs about three-quarters of fluid daily, from water and other beverages.
    • Water is also needed for food preparation and sanitation;
    • At least a 3-day supply of non-perishable food for members of your household,
    • including pet food and considerations for special dietary needs. Include a non-
    • electric can opener for canned food;
    • First aid kit, medications, and medical supplies; and
    • Battery backup power for power-dependent mobility devices, oxygen, and other
    • assistive technology needs.
    • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person, if you live in a cold-weather climate.
    Survival Gear! Wouldn't you like to be a Prepper too?
    Think about preparedness; at home, at work, at school, even in your car.
    Are you Ready? 
    Check your Emergency Plan and Evacuation Routes everywhere you normally spend time.
    Check your Emergency Supplies:

    • Check your expiration dates (food, water, batteries)
    • Count your stock... is it enough?
    • Don't let your gas tank get below half-full
    • Keep cash on hand - ATMs may not be available, and you cannot count on credit cards in an emergency.
    • Think Ahead-Plan Wisely-Prepare Yourself to Survive!

    Survival Gear Including: Survival Kits, C.E.R.T. Products and gear, Pet Emergency Kits/Supplies, Outdoor Supplies, Triage Units, Trauma Kits, Search & Rescue Equipment & Disaster and Survival Videos, Emergency Shelters, Lighting, Food & Heating.

     

  • ¿Cuáles son los pasos para prepararse para un huracán?

    Dado que los desastres naturales pueden ser extremadamente peligrosos y graves, es vital estar muy bien preparados.

    Por favor siga los consejos importantes que los CDC ofrecen para prepararse para un huracán. Estos consejos incluyen:

    #Preparación2014 - ¿Está Listo?  Chasque. #Preparación2014 - ¿Está Listo? Chasque.

    Además de estos consejos, puede encontrar más información en el sitio web de los CDC sobre huracanes.

    Los CDC recomiendan en forma especial que imprima toda información importante antes de la llegada del huracán. Los cortes de luz durante y después del huracán pueden impedir el acceso a la información electrónica cuando más la necesita. Si se prepara ahora podrá mantenerse seguro usted y su familia.

    También, puede recibir consejos semanales de los CDC durante la temporada de huracanes subscribiéndose a los siguientes servicios:

    Es importante que uno este preparado para todo tipo de emergencias y posibles evacuaciones. Si vive en zonas costeras que incluyen Florida, Texas y Carolina del norte es importante que se prepare para huracanes. Aquí podrá leer sobre los suministros necesarios y como diseñar un plan de emergencia adecuado.

    Los huracanes son tormentas agresivas que se conocen por sus fuertes vientos y lluvia. Algunos lugares de los Estados Unidos son particularmente susceptibles a los huracanes, incluyendo las zonas costeras, como el sureste de Florida, la costa del Golfo del sur de Texas y el área de la región externa de los bancos de Carolina del Norte. Dado que los desastres naturales pueden ser extremadamente peligrosos y graves, es vital estar muy bien preparados. MAS

  • Predicting the next Super Storm, Cyclone or Hurricane

    We can't do an series on National Hurricane Preparedness Week without addressing the science (some say art) of Hurricane forecasting / prediction.

    Hurricane forecasting is a specialized skill which involves analyzing highly complex atmospheric conditions. Many parameters at all layers of the atmosphere affect hurricane movement and intensity. Determining the dominant parameters is the most difficult factor in tropical cyclone forecasting.

    Forecasts today can get hurricane tracks wrong by hundreds of miles and wind speeds by tens of miles per hour. As a result, Majumdar says, "people often return after an evacuation to find nothing really happened." The solution, he says, is to improve forecasting through better science. "That's the only way to get people to trust the warnings."

    The stakes have never been higher. Population is burgeoning along vulnerable coasts in the U.S., Asia, and the Caribbean. In the southeastern U.S., for example, coastal populations grew more than 50 percent from 1980 to 2003. The North Atlantic hurricane nursery, responding to a natural climate cycle, is experiencing [In 2006] a baby boom that isn't expected to end for a decade or more. And behind it all lurks the grim possibility that global warming is making these storms stronger.

    NHC Senior Hurricane Specialist Dr. Michael Brennan describes the collaborative process in forecasting the track and intensity of a tropical cyclone:

    Tropical cyclones form from relatively common tropical weather systems, referred to as cloud clusters. These groups of loosely organized, deep cumulus clouds occur in a variety of tropical weather situations, but in the Atlantic the most common pattern for storm genesis has historically been intensification of tropical waves that regularly move off the west coast of Africa during the Atlantic hurricane season. Most cloud clusters and tropical waves, however, do not evolve into tropical cyclones. In this sense, the hurricane is a rare phenomenon.

    The initiation of a vortex with winds of moderate strength (cyclogenesis) can occur very rapidly, often in less than a day. The climatology of Atlantic tropical cyclogenesis suggests that formation is favored when a strong convective disturbance occurs in a region where the air is already "spinning" in a cyclonic (counterclockwise) direction. Other favorable factors, such as weak vertical wind shear, low-level inflow, and high-level outflow, have also been identified. Interactions between incipient disturbances and upper-tropospheric systems often contribute to cyclone development as well. Genesis almost always occurs over warm tropical waters. The dynamics of the initial stage of the tropical cyclone's life cycle is not well understood due to the lack of observations in the regions of storm genesis and the complexity of the interactions between the many scales of motion involved in formation.

    Intensification of the weak circulation into a hurricane can be thought of as the evolution of a vortex in which the dominant forces are in approximate balance. The balance of forces near the sea surface is altered by the friction, causing moisture-rich air to move toward the storm center. Clouds near the center are organized into spiral-rainband structures by a complex, poorly understood interaction between the physics of the clouds, the strong rotation in the vortex, and the atmospheric conditions in the environment of the storm. The strengthening winds extract ever larger amounts of water vapor from the warm ocean. As this water vapor rises near the center, it cools and condenses; the latent heat thus released creates a warm central core, and air is drawn toward the center, contracting the vortex and further spinning up the winds. The reasons that some disturbances intensify to hurricane, while others do not, are not well understood. Also unknown are the reasons that some hurricanes become severe while others do not.

    Although the small-scale details of the storm may change continuously, and sometimes rapidly, the tropical cyclone, as a whole, is a stable system that may persist for many days over the warm tropical ocean. During this time, a tropical cyclone moves in the general direction of the broad-scale wind patterns in which it is embedded. Tropical cyclones dissipate rapidly after landfall, due primarily to the loss of the surface moisture source. The vortex may retain some organization, particularly in the middle troposphere, for several days after landfall. Storms that move poleward over cold waters tend to weaken at a slower rate than those storms that move over land. In either case, the circulation center frequently interacts or combines with a midlatitude weather system and, in the process, loses its warm core structure. The transformed system can still produce substantial rainfall.

    Hurricane Forecast Computer Models

    By Dr. Jeff Masters, Director of Meteorology from Wunderground

    The behavior of the atmosphere is governed by physical laws which can be expressed as mathematical equations. These equations represent how atmospheric quantities such as temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, etc., will change from their initial current values (at the present time). If we can solve these equations, we will have a forecast. We can do this by sub-dividing the atmosphere into a 3-D grid of points and solving these equations at each point.

    These models have three main sources of error:

    1) Initialization: We have an imperfect description of what the atmosphere is doing right now, due to lack of data (particularly over the oceans). When the model starts, is has an incorrect picture of the initial state of the atmosphere, so will always generate a forecast that is imperfect.

    2) Resolution: Models are run on 3-D grids that cover the entire globe. Each grid point represents of piece of atmosphere perhaps 40 km on a side. Thus, processes smaller than that (such as thunderstorms) are not handled well, and must be "parameterized". This means we make up parameters (fudge factors) that do a good job giving the right forecast most of the time. Obviously, the fudge factors aren't going to work for all situations.

    3) Basic understanding: Our basic understanding of the physics governing the atmosphere is imperfect, so the equations we're using aren't quite right.

    Types of hurricane forecasting models

    The best hurricane forecasting models we have are "global" models that solve the mathematical equations governing the behavior of the atmosphere at every point on the globe. Models that solve these equations are called "dynamical" models. The four best hurricane forecast models—ECMWF, GFDL, GFS, and UKMET—are all global dynamical models. These models take several hours to run on the world's most advanced supercomputers.

    Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster! Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster!

    There are also dynamical models that cover just a portion of the globe. These are less useful, unless the hurricane happens to start out inside the domain the model covers and stay there. Hurricanes moving from outside the model domain into the model domain are not well handled. An example of this kind of model is the NAM model covering North America and the surrounding waters, run by the National Weather Service (NWS).

    Another type of hurricane model is a statistical model. These models do not try to solve mathematical equations on a grid. The advantage of these statistical models is that they are fast to run and can provide output in a few minutes. There are also hybrid statistical/dynamical models, and simple trajectory models.

    A full list of all of the tropical cyclone track and intensity models can be found on the National Hurricane Center's website.

    A summary of the top six models:

    ECMWF: The European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) model is the premier global model in the world for medium range weather forecasting in the mid-latitudes. In 2006, the ECMWF made improvements that starting producing very accurate hurricanes forecasts.

    GFS: The Global Forecast System model run by the NWS. Excellent graphics are available on the web from the National Center for Environmental Prediction. Wunderground.com also has GFS plots. I like the Tropical Atlantic imagery. If you select "Shear" from the "level" menu, then click on "Add a Map", you'll get plots of the wind shear that I talk so much about.

    GFDL: The NWS/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory model. The GFDL and HWRF models are the only models that provide specific intensity forecasts of hurricanes. Wunderground.com makes these graphics available on Wundermap. More detailed GFDL graphics are available at NOAA/NCEP. See the "GHM" model under the heading, Hurricane Graphics.

    UKMET: The United Kingdom Met Office model. Data from this model is restricted from being redistributed according to international agreement, and graphics from the UKMET are difficult to find on the web. Only paying subscribers are supposed to have access to the data.

    Make sure your Emergency Radio is Ready at all Times! Make sure your Emergency Radio is Ready at all Times! Click Here

    HWRF: The NWS/Hurricane Weather Research Model. HWRF is a non-hydrostatic a coupled ocean-atmosphere model, will utilize highly advanced physics of the atmosphere, ocean and waves in one prediction system, providing unparalleled understanding of the science of tropical cyclone evolution. Its output gives meteorologists an analysis of the hurricane in three-dimensions from real-time airborne Doppler radar. It will make use of a wide variety of observations from satellites, data buoys, and hurricane hunter aircraft. No other hurricane model accesses this wide of a range of meteorological information. The GFDL and HWRF models are the only models that provide specific intensity forecasts of hurricanes. Detailed HWRF graphics are available at NOAA/NCEP. See the "HWRF" model under the heading, Hurricane Graphics.

    NOGAPS: The U.S. Navy's Navy Operational Global Prediction Center System. Graphics are available at the Navy web site. This model has been performing poorly in recent years compared to the other global models, so it has been removed from the consensus models that the National hurricane Center uses as of 2011.

    One other model worth looking at, but not as good as the other six is the Canadian GEM model.

    Non-global models

    The BAMM model (Beta and advection model, medium layer) is included on Wundermap. The BAMM is a simple trajectory model that is very fast to run, and did the best of any individual model at 3-5 day track forecasts in 2005. Since this model is always available, we have included it along with the "big four". In general, one should not trust the BAMM model for the 1-2 day time period when output from "the big four" are available. "The big four" are generally not available for tropical disturbances, and for these situations we post plots of a number of other non-global models such as the LBAR, A98E, etc. All of these models are described in detail on NHC's web site.

    Model performance

    So which is the best? The best forecasts are made by combining the forecasts from three or more models into a "consensus" forecast. Over the past decade, NHC has greatly improved their forecasts by relying on consensus forecast models made using various combinations of the GFS, GFDL, NOGAPS, UKMET, HWRF, and ECMWF models. If you average together the track forecasts from these models, the NHC official forecast will rarely depart much from it, and the NHC forecast has been hard to beat over the past few years. The single best-performing model over the past two years has been the ECMWF. This model out-performed the official NHC forecast in 2010 for 3-day and 4-day forecasts, and in 2009 for 4-day and 5-day forecasts. You can view ECMWF forecasts on our Wundermap with the model layer turned on. The European Center does not permit public display of tropical storm positions from their hurricane tracking module of their model, so we are unable to put ECMWF forecasts on our computer model forecast page that plots positions from the other major models. As seen in Figure 3, over the past two years, the GFS and GFDL model have been the next best models, with the UKMET model not far behind. Last year, the NOGAPS model did very poorly, forcing NHC to come up with some new consensus models this year, the TCOA and TVCA, that do not include the NOGAPS model. For those interested in learning more about the models, NOAA has a great training video (updated for 2011).


    Figure 1. Forecast performance in 2010, compared to a simple "Climatological and Persistence' (CLIPER) model. OFCL=Official NHC forecast. The best global dynamical models are the ECMWF, the GFS, and the GFDL. Image credit: National Hurricane Center.

    Continue reading

  • Hurricanes - Just a coastal issue? No.

    1164587_high_voltageDuring Hurricane Preparedness Week, many coastal residents take heed and prepare to batten down the hatches - but Hurricanes cause serious harm inland as well.

    Don't be lead into a false sense of security thinking that by living away from the coast you are immune to the ravages of Hurricanes and Tropical Storms.

    ALSO SEE:

    Don't Drown, Turn Around and Flood Week

    Heavy Rainfall & Inland Flooding

    Hurricane Frances Rainfall - Hydrologic Prediction Center, NOAA Hurricane Frances Rainfall - Weather Prediction Center, NOAA

    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.

    Rainfall amounts are not directly related to the strength of tropical cyclones but rather to the speed and size of the storm, as well as the geography of the area. Slower moving and larger storms produce more rainfall. In addition, mountainous terrain enhances rainfall from a tropical cyclone.

    Hurricane Flooding: A Deadly Inland Danger

    Think Inland Flooding Hurricane Floyd Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, J. Jordan

    In the last 30 years, inland flooding has been responsible for more than half the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States.Ed Rappaport, National Hurricane Center

    Consider the following:

    "When it comes to hurricanes, wind speeds do not tell the whole story. Hurricanes produce storm surges, tornadoes, and often the most deadly of all -- inland flooding." While storm surge is always a potential threat, more people have died from inland flooding in the last 30 years. Intense rainfall is not directly related to the wind speed of tropical cyclones. In fact, some of the greatest rainfall amounts occur from weaker storms that drift slowly or stall over an area.

    Picture of Inland Flooding from Hurricane Floyd Hurricane Floyd Courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, J. Jordan

    Inland flooding can be a major threat to communities hundreds of miles from the coast as intense rain falls from these huge tropical air masses.

    The United States has a significant hurricane problem. More than 60% of our Nation’s population live in coastal states from Maine to Texas, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

    Hurricane Floyd (1999) brought intense rains and record flooding to the Eastern U.S. Of the 56 people who perished, 50 drowned due to inland flooding.

    Satellite image of Hurricane Floyd Hurricane Floyd Courtesy of NASA/GSFC

    Tropical Storm Alberto (1994) drifted over the Southeast United States and produced torrential rainfall. More than 21 inches of rain fell at Americus, Georgia. Thirty-three people drowned. Damages exceeded $750 million.

    Tropical Storm Claudette (1979) brought 45 inches of rain to an area near Alvin, Texas, contributing to more than $600 million in damages.

    Hurricane Agnes (1972) produced floods in the Northeast United States which contributed to 122 deaths and $6.4 billion in damages. Long after the winds from Hurricane Diane (1955) subsided, the storm brought inland flooding to Pennsylvania, New York, and New England contributing to nearly 200 deaths and $4.2 billion in damages.

    So, the next time you hear hurricane -- think inland flooding!

    What can you do?

    • When you hear hurricane, think inland flooding.
    • Determine whether you live in a potential flood zone.
    • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.
    • Keep abreast of road conditions through the news media.
    • Move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood water.
    • Do not attempt to cross flowing water. As little as six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle...two feet of water will carry most cars away.
    • Develop a flood emergency action plan with your community leaders.

    NHC Hurricane Specialist John Cangialosi discusses the deadly danger of inland flooding caused by tropical cyclones.

    For more information contact:
    National Weather Service
    Office of Climate, Water and Weather Services
    1325 East-West Highway
    Silver Spring, MD 20910

    Learn more about rainfall from the NWS Weather Prediction Center.

    Survival Gear! Wouldn't you like to be a Prepper too?
    Think about preparedness; at home, at work, at school, even in your car.
    Are you Ready? 
    Check your Emergency Plan and Evacuation Routes everywhere you normally spend time.
    Check your Emergency Supplies:

    • Check your expiration dates (food, water, batteries)
    • Count your stock... is it enough?
    • Don't let your gas tank get below half-full
    • Keep cash on hand - ATMs may not be available, and you cannot count on credit cards in an emergency.
    • Think Ahead-Plan Wisely-Prepare Yourself to Survive!

    Survival Gear Including: Survival Kits, C.E.R.T. Products and gear, Pet Emergency Kits/Supplies, Outdoor Supplies, Triage Units, Trauma Kits, Search & Rescue Equipment & Disaster and Survival Videos, Emergency Shelters, Lighting, Food & Heating.

  • Temporada de huracanes

    La temporada de huracanes en el Atlántico se extiende desde el 1 de junio hasta el 30 de noviembre de cada año.stlouisstorm

    Aunque usted no puede detener una tormenta o huracán, hay varias cosas que puede hacer antes para prepararse. Haga un plan familiar y tenga los suministros de emergencia necesarios. Lea más sobre la protección de personas mayores y mascotas en caso de un huracán.

    suministros para los equipos de emergencia suministros para los equipos de emergencia

    Más información (en inglés y español)

    Los CDC trabajan a toda hora para salvar vidas y proteger al público contra amenazas a la salud, con el fin de mejorar la seguridad de la nación. Los CDC, una agencia federal de los EE. UU., utilizan la ciencia y la prevención para facilitar la toma de decisiones saludables. Los CDC buscan ayudar a que las personas tengan una vida más larga, productiva y saludable.

  • Hurricane Winds

    During each day of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, we will share a different aspect of hurricane safety, preparedness and survival.

    Today some background on hurricane 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, 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. In 2004, Hurricane Charley made landfall at Punta Gorda on the southwest Florida coast and produced major damage well inland across central Florida with gusts of more than 100 mph.

    Atlantic and Eastern Pacific hurricanes are classified into five categories according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which estimates potential property damage according to the hurricane's sustained wind speed.

    The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane's sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures. In the western North Pacific, the term "super typhoon" is used for tropical cyclones with sustained winds exceeding 150 mph.

    Category Sustained Winds Types of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds
    1 74-95 mph
    64-82 kt
    119-153 km/h
    Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.
    2 96-110 mph
    83-95 kt
    154-177 km/h
    Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.
    3
    (major)
    111-129 mph
    96-112 kt
    178-208 km/h
    Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.
    4
    (major)
    130-156 mph
    113-136 kt
    209-251 km/h
    Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
    5
    (major)
    157 mph or higher
    137 kt or higher
    252 km/h or higher
    Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

    NHC Hurricane Specialist Eric Blake discusses the winds associated with tropical cyclones, and the importance of having a NOAA Weather Radio.

    Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto Survival Gear for Businesses and Preparedness Products for Home & Auto
  • Storm Surge - Hurricane Preparedness Week #HurricanePrep!

    Day 2 of National Hurricane Preparedness Week - STORM SURGE!

    A storm surge is an offshore rise of water associated with a low pressure weather system, typically tropical cyclones and strong extratropical cyclones. Storm surges are caused primarily by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface. The wind causes the water to pile up higher than the ordinary sea level. Low pressure at the center of a weather system also has a small secondary effect, as can the bathymetry of the body of water. It is this combined effect of low pressure and persistent wind over a shallow water body which is the most common cause of storm surge flooding problems. The term "storm surge" in casual (non-scientific) use is storm tide; that is, it refers to the rise of water associated with the storm, plus tide, wave run-up, and freshwater flooding. "Tidal surge" is incorrect since there is no such thing. When referring to storm surge height, it is important to clarify the usage, as well as the reference point. The U.S. National Hurricane Center defines storm surge as water height above predicted astronomical tide level, and storm tide as water height above NGVD-29, a 1929 benchmark of mean sea level. Most casualties during a tropical cyclone occur during the storm surge.

    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 vs. Storm Tide Storm Surge vs. Storm Tide

    Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomicaltides. 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.

    _______________________________________________________________________

    Understanding the difference between National Weather Service watches and warnings is critical to being prepared for any dangerous weather hazard, including hurricanes.

    A watch lets you know that weather conditions are favorable for a hazard to occur. It literally means "be on guard!" During a weather watch, gather awareness of the specific threat and prepare for action - monitor the weather to find out if severe weather conditions have deteriorated and discuss your protective action plans with your family.

    A warning requires immediate action. This means a weather hazard is imminent - it is either occurring (a tornado has been spotted, for example) - or it is about to occur at any moment. During a weather warning, it is important to take action: grab the emergency kit you have prepared in advance and head to safety immediately. Both watches and warnings are important, but warnings are more urgent.

    NHC Warning Coordination Meteorologist Daniel Brown describes the dangers of storm surge, the number one killer in a tropical cyclone.

    Hurricane / Tropical Storm Alerts

      • Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical-storm conditions are possible within the specified area.
      • Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area.

    Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

    Action: During a watch, prepare your home and review your plan for evacuation in case a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warning is issued. Listen closely to instructions from local officials.

      • Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical-storm conditions are expected within the specified area.
      • Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions are expected within the specified area.

    Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

    Action: During a warning, complete storm preparations and immediately leave the threatened area if directed by local officials.

    • Extreme Wind Warning - Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour.Action: Take immediate shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.

    Additional Watches and Warnings may be issued to provide detailed information on specific threats such as floods and tornadoes. Local National Weather Service offices issue Flash Flood/Flood Watches and Warnings as well as Tornado Warnings.

    National Weather Service Products

    National Hurricane Center

    Local Weather Forecast Office (locations)

    Public Advisories offer critical hurricane watch, warning and forecast information.Forecast/Advisories provide detailed hurricane track and wind field information.Probabilities offer locally specific chances of experiencing tropical storm, strong tropical storm and hurricane force winds out to 5 days to better know if one will be impacted and when these conditions may occur. Hurricane Local Statements (HLS) give greater detail on how the storm will impact your area.Non-precipitation weather products provide High Wind Watches and Warnings for inland areas that could experience strong winds.

    How to Stay Informed

    Use all of the above information to make an informed decision on your risk and what actions to take. Listen to recommendations of local officials on TV, radio and other media and to NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards for the latest tropical cyclone information.

    Survival Gear! Wouldn't you like to be a Prepper too?
    Think about preparedness; at home, at work, at school, even in your car.
    Are you Ready? 
    Check your Emergency Plan and Evacuation Routes everywhere you normally spend time.
    Check your Emergency Supplies:

    • Check your expiration dates (food, water, batteries)
    • Count your stock... is it enough?
    • Don't let your gas tank get below half-full
    • Keep cash on hand - ATMs may not be available, and you cannot count on credit cards in an emergency.
    • Think Ahead-Plan Wisely-Prepare Yourself to Survive!

    Survival Gear Including: Survival Kits, C.E.R.T. Products and gear, Pet Emergency Kits/Supplies, Outdoor Supplies, Triage Units, Trauma Kits, Search & Rescue Equipment & Disaster and Survival Videos, Emergency Shelters, Lighting, Food & Heating.

    Factors Impacting Surge

    Storm surge is produced by water being pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds moving cyclonically around the storm. The impact on surge of the low pressure associated with intense storms is minimal in comparison to the water being forced toward the shore by the wind.


    Wind and Pressure Components of Hurricane Storm Surge

    The maximum potential storm surge for a particular location depends on a number of different factors. Storm surge is a very complex phenomenon because it is sensitive to the slightest changes in storm intensity, forward speed, size (radius of maximum winds-RMW), angle of approach to the coast, central pressure (minimal contribution in comparison to the wind), and the shape and characteristics of coastal features such as bays and estuaries. Continue reading

  • Happy Memorial Day

    MOMENT OF SILENCE

    amflagwav


    Pay tribute to the U.S. men and women who died during military service. Please observe a minute of silence at 3:00 p.m., local time.

    John A. Logan
    Civil War Commander in Chief John A. Logan declared the first official Memorial Day in 1868
    The First Official Memorial Day
    May 30, 1868 

    Do you celebrate Memorial Day? In 1868, Commander in Chief John A. Logan of the grand Army of the Republic issued what was called General Order Number 11, designating May 30 as a memorial day. He declared it to be "for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land." Where do you suppose that first Memorial Day took place? The first national celebration of Memorial Day (originally Decoration Day) took place May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery. The national observance of Memorial Day still takes place there today, with the placing of a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the decoration of each grave with a small American flag. The holiday has changed a bit since it first began, which some argue was even earlier than Logan's dedication. Southern women decorated the graves of soldiers even before the end of the Civil War. After the war, a women's memorial association in Columbus, Mississippi, put flowers on the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers in 1866, an act of generosity that inspired the poem by Francis Miles Finch, "The Blue and the Grey," published in theAtlantic Monthly. In 1971, federal law changed the observance of the holiday to the last Monday in May and extended it to honor all those who died in American wars. People pay tribute not only with flowers but also with speeches and parades. Whom do you honor on Memorial Day? 

    Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. Whether you’re travelling or enjoying a backyard
    barbecue, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation offers some tips for a safe and healthy holiday
    weekend:
    1. Food Safety
    • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before handling food and after handling raw poultry
    or meat. To guard against cross-contamination of bacteria, keep uncooked meats away from other foods.
    • Cook foods thoroughly, especially ground beef, poultry, and pork.
    • Refrigerate all perishable food within two hours.
    2. Fire Safety
    • When using a grill, be sure to clean it thoroughly to remove any grease or dust. Check for gas leaks. Use
    the grill outside, not in a garage, porch, or other enclosed space.
    • If you plan to use a fire pit, be sure to put out fire completely before leaving it unattended.
    • Do not park your vehicle on grass as the hot exhaust can easily ignite dry vegetation.
    3. Water Safety
    • Don’t swim alone.
    • Wear a life vest while boating.
    • Supervise children at all times in and near the water.
    4. Sun Safety
    • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply it generously throughout the day.
    • Wear a hat and sunglasses.
    • Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
    5. Travel Safety
    • Don’t drink and drive or travel with anyone who has been drinking.
    • Wear your seatbelt at all times.
    • Make sure your vehicle has been serviced before a long road trip.
    • Familiarize yourself with your surroundings and know where the nearest emergency room is in case of an
    emergency.
    Enjoy the holiday weekend with friends and family! And, remember to pay your respects to those who have given
    so much so that we can enjoy the liberties we have today.

    Memorial Day Weekend

    • Image of Swimming Pool & Lifeguard First Aid Kit This swimming pool and lifeguard first aid kit has everything you'll need around the pool and more – even a whistle for warnings and calling for help! Use the products in this first aid kit for fun in the sun and around the water - protection and treatment for insect bites, minor cuts, scrapes and eye irritations. In addition, our lifeguard kits provide a CPR one-way valve face shield to protect rescuers from contaminants when performing CPR. Products are contained in a strong metal case with gasket for protection from weather and moisture around the swimming pool

      Barbecue Food Safety  – Simple guidelines for grilling food safely

    • Boating Safety  – Learn from the U.S. Coast Guard how to prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities while boating.
    • Recipes from and for Americans  – Healthy recipes, collections and publications, kids' recipes, cooking for a crowd...
    • Swimming Safety  – Before you jump in, make sure you know the facts about water safety.
    • Travel Safety  – Airline status, airport screening, foreign travel advisories, citizens abroad...
  • STRYVE: Prevención de la violencia juvenil

    Según los datos más recientes disponibles, aproximadamente el 20 por ciento de los alumnos de escuelas secundarias denunció haber sido intimidados en la escuela y más del 30 por ciento admisión haber presenciado alguna pelea.

    La violencia juvenil se puede prevenir.  STRYVE es una iniciativa nacional para prevenir violencia antes de que empieze. Ármese con las herramientas necesarias para prevenir la violencia juvenil.

    http://www.cdc.gov/spanish/especialesCDC/ViolenciaJuvenil/

Items 1 to 10 of 39 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4