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Monday, August 20, 2007

Hurricane storm surge

Only the fourth named, but the first major hurricane of ther 2007 hurricane season in Atlantic, Hurricane Dean is currently heading toward Yucatan Peninsula after savaged the southern coast of Jamaica. It is a Category 4 storm right now at raging wind speed of 135-150 mph, it is expected to become a Category 5 later. Of particular cautious, hear is part of the Hurricane Dean Public Advisory Number 29A issued by National Hurricane Center earlier this morning:
COASTAL STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 5 TO 7 FEET ABOVE
NORMAL TIDE LEVELS...ALONG WITH LARGE AND DANGEROUS
BATTERING WAVES...IS POSSIBLE IN THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.
STORM SURGE FLOODING OF 9 TO 11 FEET ABOVE NORMAL
TIDE LEVELS IS POSSIBLE NEAR AND TO THE NORTH OF
WHERE DEAN MAKES LANDFALL ALONG THE EAST COAST OF
THE YUCATAN PENINSULA.
As reported by the Caribbean Net News, the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) also advising the Jamaican public to expect significant storm surges with the passage of Hurricane Dean. May be it is timely now to reacquaint ourselves again with what storm surge is.

Perhaps a good starting point is from this geology.com site that straight-forwardly described a storm surge as what occurs when powerful storm winds pushed water up onto the shoreline. Here's an interesting graphical demonstration:
The peril of storm surge may be best exibited by this actual case picture:

A very good introductory NOAA pamphlet entitled "Storm Surge" prepared for teacher's resources with student activities by Beth Jewell. Here's a superbly simple explanation and video illustration of the effects of a storm surge. Storm surge during hurricanes can be estimated by NOAA National Hurricane Center's SLOSH (Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes) computer model. This FAQ answer shown the SLOSH result of an annimation of what actually happen during a hypethetical hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico.

Storm surges are one of the dangerous outcomes of a hurricane attack. Since it is generally expected and predictable, so no one should ever mixed it with freaque waves at any rate.

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