Arthur the first storm for new interactive potential storm surge - WRBL

Arthur the first storm for new interactive potential storm surge maps

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - The first interactive color maps that show potential storm surge flooding from a tropical system are now live with an active storm.

Tropical Storm Arthur has given the National Hurricane Center the first chance to use the latest mapping in a real-world scenario.

The new tool using Google maps allows users to drill down to street level to see how much storm surge is likely in their area.

“This map uses the best information available at the time it is issued, including uncertainties in the track, intensity, and size forecast,” says the hurricane center, which also uses tidal info for the maps.

Most of the Grand Strand displays in blue where water is likely to be up to 3 feet higher because of storm surge from Arthur.

Yellow areas show where the storm surge will be higher than 3 feet – but less than 6 feet. Orange and red represent the highest levels of storm surge -- above 6 and above 9 feet, respectively.

It should be noted that the maps are experimental – and the hurricane center makes users read a disclaimer before using the maps.

The National Hurricane Center says that the maps are possibly 10 percent inaccurate – that is there is a 1 in 10 chance flooding could exceed the projections.

This map accounts for tides, but not waves and not flooding caused by rainfall.

The experimental Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map takes into account:
  • Normal astronomical tides
  • Flooding due to storm surge from the ocean,
    including adjoining tidal rivers, sounds, and bays
  • Land elevation
  • Uncertainties in the track, landfall location, intensity,
    forward speed, and size of the cyclone
The experimental Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map does not take into account: Wave action
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