Broward News

New National Hurricane Center Maps to Track Storms Before They Form, Predict Surges

As Hurricane season approaches, we're getting more and more sophisticated in the way storms are tracked.

And while we're still waiting for those Hurricane Tracker Sharks we were promised, there is some pretty cool news coming out of the National Hurricane Center.

Staring this season, the NHC will be displaying color graphics on its website that will predict storms before they even start, with a five-day head-start tracker.

See also: Only Three Hurricanes Forming This Year, Experts Say

Specifically, the graphics will track storm surges -- which cause more damage than hurricane-force winds.

Storm surges are basically the quick rise of seawater, which has always been difficult to predict.

The NHC hopes that the new storm-surge graphics could help people see why exactly they might be evacuated from their area because of an oncoming storm.

Color-coded graphics will be used to not only predict how far inland a storm surge is forecast to go but also how high the seawater will rise in the stricken area.

According to Reuters, the storm-surge forecasts will be posted 48 hours before a storm makes landfall and are expected to be updated every six hours.

The NHC warns, however, that storm surges can change without warning at times, making it tough to be 100 percent accurate.

The concern is that this could lead to public complacency when storms come. Still, the NHC is optimistic the maps are a step in the right direction to getting people educated about storm surges and the damage they can inflict.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph