Columbus Severe Watches & Warnings NOAA Weather Radio

Public Information Statement
Statement as of 04:36 am EDT on May 25, 2015

... This week is National hurricane awareness week... .

It is time for you to prepare for the 2015 hurricane season. The
Atlantic hurricane season begins each year on June 1st and ends
November 30th. Being prepared can make a big difference in your
ability to Cope when a storm threatens.

Today's topic is storm surge and marine safety.

Long period swell from a distant hurricane can create high surf and
dangerous rip currents along the coast well ahead of landfall. When
the hurricane is about a day away from making landfall the cyclones
wind field starts to affect the coast. At this time beach erosion
starts to occur as both winds and waves start increasing.

Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm and
independent of the predicted astronomical tides. Storm tide is the
total water level rise... a combination of storm surge and the
astronomical tide. The rise in water level can cause extreme
flooding in coastal areas. If the storm surge arrives at the same
time as the high tide... the water height will be even
greater... reaching 20 feet or higher.

Storm surge is produced by water being pushed toward 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 pushed toward shore by the
wind. Adding to the destructive power of the surge... battering waves
can increase damage to property at the coast. Along the immediate
coast storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property.

The storm tide is highest on the side of the storm circulation where
the wind is blowing toward the coast. Surge is highest closer to the
eye... where the wind is strongest.

In confined harbors... the combination of storm tides... waves... and
currents can severely damage marinas and boats. When a tropical
storm or Hurricane Watch is issued... marine interests should
immediately take all possible precautions to either move their
boats to safety or take all possible steps to secure them.