Category Archives: Weather Ready Nation

Fall & Flood Weather

Kids are back in school and the weather is starting to change from summer heat to the cooler season of fall. Are you prepared for fall weather hazards? Does your family have a plan?

  1. Make a Family Communication Plan so everyone knows where to go and how to stay in touch.
  2. Get a NOAA Weather Radio.
  3. Prepare for winter storms by stocking at least three days of non-perishable food and water.
  4. Learn how to be a Force of Nature!

With Hurricane Florence and other heavy rain storms, the potential for flooding is very real. Heavy rainfall always brings a danger of flash flooding, but sometimes even light/moderate rainfall can trigger dangerous floods. Dry stream beds can become raging torrents in minutes with no rain in sight! Stay safe from floodwaters and learn more at https://www.weather.gov/media/wrn/floods_booklet.pdf#page=3

Stay safe and enjoy the fall!

 

Hurricanes – Be Prepared!

Hurricanes season runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. Over a typical 2-year period, the U.S. coastline is struck by an average of 3 hurricanes, 1 of which is classified as a major hurricane (winds of 111 mph or greater).

Plan ahead and be prepared!

While hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property, tropical storms and depression also can be devastating. The primary hazards from tropical cyclones (which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents.

  • Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast.
  • Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers, and estuaries.
  • Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from land falling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
  • Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. Signs, roofing material, and other items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
  • Tornadoes can accompany land falling tropical cyclones. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
  • Dangerous waves produced by a tropical cyclone’s strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion, and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than 1,000 miles offshore.

When a hurricane threatens your community, be prepared to evacuate if you live in a storm surge risk area. Allow enough time to pack and inform friends and family if you need to leave your home.

  • Secure your home: Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8 inch exterior grade or marine plywood, built to fit, and ready to install. Buy supplies before the hurricane season rather than waiting for the pre-storm rush.
  • Stayed tuned in: Check the websites of your local National Weather Service office and local government/emergency management office. Find out what type of emergencies could occur and how you should respond. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or other radio or TV stations for the latest storm news.
  • Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!
  • If NOT ordered to evacuate:
    • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet, or hallway on the lowest level during the storm. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
    • Stay away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
    • If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force winds coming from the opposite direction.

NOAA-20

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 1:47 a.m. PST on Saturday, November 18, 2017. JPSS-1 was renamed NOAA-20 when it reached its final orbit joining the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite in the same polar orbit, and will provide scientists with observations of atmospheric temperature and moisture, clouds, sea-surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash, and fire detection.

“This year’s hurricane and fire seasons demonstrated just how critical NOAA’s Earth observing satellites are for forecasting extreme weather and hazardous events,” said Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator.

The NOAA-20 satellite carries five instruments to provide data to improve day-to-day weather forecasting, such as predicting a hurricane’s track, and aid in the recognition of climate patterns that can influence the weather, including El Nino and La Nina. They will also help emergency managers respond to events like wildfires and volcanic eruptions and help communities, recovering from severe storms, with better views of storm damage and show the extent of power outages. The data also will be available to aid scientists monitor changes in our environment.

“Building and launching JPSS-1 underscores NOAA’s commitment to putting the most scientifically advanced satellites as possible into orbit, giving our forecasters – and the public – greater confidence in weather forecasts up to seven days in advance, including the potential for severe or dangerous weather,” said Stephen Volz, Ph.D., director of NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service.

“Emergency managers increasingly rely on our forecasts to make critical decisions and take appropriate action before a storm hits,” said Louis W. Uccellini, director of NOAA’s National Weather Service. “Polar satellite observations not only help us monitor and collect information about current weather systems, but they provide data to feed into our weather forecast models.”

Together, NOAA and NASA oversee the development, launch, testing and operation all the satellites in the JPSS program. NOAA funds and manages the program, operations and data products. On behalf of NOAA, NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft and ground system and launches the satellites which NOAA then takes over to operate.

On November 29, NOAA-20 sent back its first Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) science data as part of a series of instrument startups and checkouts that will take place before the satellite goes into full operational mode.

ATMS receives 22 channels of radio waves from 23 to 183 gigahertz. Five water vapor channels, combined with other temperature sounding channels are used to provide the critical global atmospheric temperature and water vapor needed to provide accurate weather forecasts out to seven days.   ATMS also maps global precipitation, snow and ice cover.

This image uses ATMS data to depict the location and abundance of water vapor (as associated with antenna temperatures) in the lower atmosphere, from the surface of the Earth to 5 kilometers altitude. Transparent/grey colors depict areas with less water vapor, while blue-green and purple colors represent abundant water in all phases (vapor, clouds, and precipitation) in low and middle latitudes. In the polar regions, purple depicts surface snow and ice.   Water vapor distribution in space and time is a critical measurement for improving global weather forecasts. With detailed vertical information, forecasters can better identify the transport of water vapor associated with jet streams, which can fuel severe weather events.

Follow NOAA-20, visit https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/JPSS-1#noaa20.