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7 Things to Know About Storm Surges

When you think of the danger a hurricane poses to the unlucky people caught in its path, your first thought is probably the ferocious winds that crash ashore and tear up just about everything exposed to the elements. While the winds are destructive and the flying debris is a serious hazard to anyone caught in the way, the greatest and quietest killer in a tropical cyclone is its storm surge.

  1. A SURGE IS A SUDDEN INUNDATION OF SEA WATER.

The strong winds of a landfalling tropical cyclone thrust it inland. The flooding that results from storm surges is only a few feet deep most of the time, but the worst surges—like those seen in Hurricane Katrina—can exceed 20 feet or higher. A storm surge comes up quickly and can push water miles inland in the most vulnerable spots during the strongest storms.

  1. THEY’RE NOT CAUSED BY HURRICANES ALONE.

Hurricanes are most closely associated with storm surges, but they’re not the only storms that can push water inland. Tropical depressions and tropical storms can also inundate coastlines if their winds are strong enough. Powerful winter storms can also generate a life-threatening storm surge. A blizzard that hit the East Coast in January 2016 produced a storm surge in Cape May, New Jersey, that was slightly higher than the one recorded there during Hurricane Sandy a few years earlier.

  1. TRACK AND TIMING MATTER …

We tell people not to focus on the exact track of a tropical cyclone since the impacts can extend hundreds of miles from the center of the storm. But when it comes to a storm surge, track really does matter. The worst winds in a storm occur in the right-front quadrant of its eyewall, or the part of the storm that’s in front of the eye and to the right of its forward movement. This spot sees the strongest winds influenced by the forward motion of the storm, and it’s where the wind is able to push the most water with it.

Timing also determines how much flooding people at the coast will experience. Coastal flooding will be worse if a storm hits land at high tide since water will be a few feet higher. That couple of feet at high tide doesn’t seem like much, but it can mean the difference between a few roads washed out and a few neighborhoods inundated by water.

  1. … BUT WIND MATTERS MORE.

The fury behind the surge is wind. The National Hurricane Center says that 95 percent of storm surge is driven by the wind—the other 5 percent is water that rises above sea level due to low air pressure at the center of the storm. A general (and obvious) rule of thumb is that a stronger storm will produce a more destructive storm surge, but surge also depends on other factors like a storm’s forward speed and the size of its wind field.

  1. WIND IS WHY SANDY WAS SO DEVASTATING.

Even though Hurricane Sandy only had 80 mph winds when it made landfall in New Jersey on October 29, 2012, it was one of the most destructive storms to hit the United States in recorded history. The devastating storm surge that Sandy drove into coastal communities was the result of the immense size of the storm’s wind field.

When Sandy made landfall, the area covered by its tropical storm force winds (39–74 mph) covered more than 1100 miles from South Carolina to Maine. The enormous area covered by these strong winds made up for the storm’s relative lack of concentrated intensity, allowing it to push tremendous amounts of water into the coast.

Hurricane Katrina’s historic storm surge along the northern Gulf Coast in August 2005 was also driven by the sheer size of the storm. Katrina was a massive hurricane with scale-topping category 5 winds to boot. Katrina weakened by the time it reached the coast, but the size of the storm and its former strength still pushed enormous amounts of water into Louisiana and Mississippi.

  1. CURVY COASTS MAKE A BAD SITUATION WORSE.

As if getting hit with a bad storm weren’t bad enough, the very shape of the coastline itself will determine how much of an impact a storm surge will have on coastal communities. Shallow waters offshore and concave bays and inlets will exacerbate a storm surge and make the inundation deeper than it would have been otherwise.

  1. LINGERING STORMS DO MORE DAMAGE.

After it made landfall in Florida and moved into the Atlantic Ocean, meteorologists were worried about tropical storm Hermine’s impacts along the Mid-Atlantic and New England coastlines because of how long they expected the storm to linger near land. Forecasts called for Hermine to meander off the coast of New Jersey at or near hurricane strength for four full days before beginning to dissipate. Thankfully, the worst-case scenarios didn’t come to pass, but the threat was real.

Even though Hermine wasn’t forecast to make landfall, the exceptionally long duration of the storm—powerful winds blowing inland for days at a time—threatened to generate a large storm surge along the coast. A slow-moving storm will cause more damage than one that moves through in a matter of hours.

 

 

We have Moved!

July has been an exciting month for SAK Enterprises as we have moved to our new facility. Our new offices and production facility is located at 3155 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Bradenton, FL 34211, only 10 miles from our previous location.

Construction of our new facility was completed at the end of the 2nd quarter 2018. The structure itself was built with the latest construction technologies and building codes ensuring our new facility can withstand a major weather event, should one ever come our way.

We are very enthusiastic about our growth, and at the same time grateful for you the customer and your business. It has always been, and it will continue to be your business and support that is the major contribution to our growth and our future.

The SAK Enterprises Team is certain that the investment in our move to our new facility will allow us to streamline every aspect of our company, from our customer relations, to Product Design, production process and everything else in between.

We look forward to our future and working with you.

Thank you,

Your Entire SAK Enterprises Team

 

40 Hurricane Facts

Hurricane Facts

A Hurricane is a natural disaster with far reaching consequences. It takes away the lives of millions of people and causes damage to almost all of human creation. It can cause extensive damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland due to heavy rainfall. Floods and flying debris often plays havoc in the lives of people living along coastal areas. Slow moving hurricanes produce heavy rains in mountainous regions. Landfall and mud-slides can occur due to excessive rain. Chances of flash floods also brighten due to heavy rainfall. Below are some interesting facts about hurricanes.

What is a Hurricane?

A hurricane is a form of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that occur in eastern Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea, southern Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. All coastal areas around Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic are prone to hurricanes. Tropical cyclones have low thunderstorm activity and rotate counterclockwise. When the winds of a tropical cyclone is less than 38 mph, it is called a tropical depression. When the winds reach between 39-73 mph, it is classified as a tropical storm. However, when the winds exceed 74 mph, it is classified as hurricane.

Below are 40 Facts on Hurricanes

Fact 1: The term hurricane is derived from ‘Taino’, a Native American word which means evil spirit of the wind.

Fact 2: The first hurricane that caused people to fly in it, occurred in 1943 during world war II.

Fact 3: A tropical storm is a hurricane which travels for 74 miles per hour, or higher than that.

Fact 4: Hurricanes are weather disasters, each of them having its own name.

Fact 5: Hurricanes are first formed in warm moisture atmosphere by swirling above tropical ocean water.

Fact 6: The eye wall experiences the most terrible hurricanes with extremely heavy rains. This place is the ring of clouds and thunderstorms occur around the eye.

Fact 7: A huge hurricane can release energy equivalent to 10 atomic bombs per second.

Fact 8: Hurricanes also produce mild tornadoes, which can last up to few minutes.

Fact 9: Hurricanes that move slowly are likely to produce more rains causing more damage by flooding, than fast moving hurricanes.

Fact 10: Hurricane Floyd has destroyed 19 million trees and has caused damage of more than a million dollars.

Fact 11: Many people die in hurricanes because of the rising sea water walls that enter the mainland instantly killing people.

Fact 12: Hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean are known as typhoons.

Fact 13: In Indian Ocean they are typically known tropical cyclones.

Fact 14: The first person to give names to hurricanes was a weather forecaster from Australia named C. Wragge in 1900s.

Fact 15: The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale defines hurricane strength by categories. A Category 1 storm is the weakest hurricane with winds having speed between 74-95 mph; a Category 5 hurricane is the strongest with winds greater than 155 mph.

Fact 16: Hurricanes mostly occur from June to November when seas are the warmest, forming a conducive weather for the hurricanes to build up.

Fact 17: Planet Jupiter has a hurricane which appears as a red dot in it, spinning for 300 years. This hurricane is bigger than the earth itself.

Fact 18: Hurricanes are large enough to carry winds that travel for 160 miles per hour.

Fact 19: Hurricanes can have a diameter of 600-800 kilometers.

Fact 20: The center of the hurricane, which is the eye, can be as huge as 32 kilometers. The weather in this center (the eye) is usually calm with low winds.

Fact 21: 90% of the deaths that occur during hurricanes is because of the floods created by this disaster.

Fact 22: A hurricane that occurred in Bangladesh in 1970, took away the live of one million people. This hurricane is supposedly the worst tornado, in terms of loss of life.

Fact 23: The winds in the hurricane can cause above 2 million’s trillion gallons of rains per day.

Fact 24: In the Atlantic Ocean, hurricanes begin from 1st June, and in the pacific they start in mid may. Both end together towards the end of November.

Fact 25: Hurricanes, upon entering land bring in strong winds, heavy rains and waves which are strong enough to cause damages like washing away the entire city scape. These are known as storm surge.

Fact 26: Florida is hit by at least 40% of the hurricanes that occur in America.

Fact 27: Hurricanes are differentiated from tropical storms by their wind speeds. Tropical storms carry winds which travel 35-50 miles per hour. Hurricanes wind speeds are double and travel for at least 74 miles per hour.

Fact 28: Hurricanes are categorized into 5 types, depending upon their wind speed and their capacity to cause damage. The wind speed of the 5 categories are as follows.

Category 1-     74 to 95 miles per hour

Category 2-     96-110 miles per hour

Category 3-     111-130 miles per hour

Category 4-      131-155 miles per hour

Category 5-      Most dangerous. Above 155 miles per hour.

Fact 29: The National Hurricane Center was the first organization to give ‘female’ names to the hurricanes in 1953.  However, they stopped this practice in 1978.

Fact 30: Huge and destructive hurricanes have retired names like Katrina, Mitch and Andrew

Fact 31: Hurricane Katrina is one of the costliest category 5 type hurricane which has caused damage over $100 billion.

Fact 32: The deadliest hurricane is the category 4 hurricane that occurred in Texas and Galveston in the year 1990. 8000 people were found dead by the 15 foot waves which carried winds travelling for 130 miles per hour.

Fact 33: It is believed that hurricanes have killed approximately 1.9 million people over the past 200 years.

Fact 34: Most of the category 5 hurricanes occurred in years 2000-2009, with eight. These include Isabelle (2003), Ivan (2004), Emily (2005), Katrina (2005), Rita (2005), Wilma (2005), Dean (2007), and Felix (2007).

Fact 35: Stronger hurricanes can reach 40,000 to 50,000 feet up into the sky.

Fact 36: Hurricanes need Coriolis Force to form which is very weak at Equator and this is the reason that they cannot form near Equator.

Fact 37: The Southern Hemisphere typically experiences about half the number of hurricanes as the Northern Hemisphere each year.

Fact 38: The year 2005 saw the most hurricanes ever to form in a single Atlantic season, with 15.

Fact 39: A typical hurricane needs (a) light upper level winds, (b) warm water (at-least 80º F) and (c) pre-existing conditions with thunderstorms to form.

Fact 40: Hurricanes kill more people than any other type of storm.

Hurricanes are natural disasters and unfortunately cannot be controlled by man. However, we can prepare ourselves for future precautions to safeguard ourselves against such calamities, although this is remotely possible.

 

 

Subtropical Storm Alberto

With a week before the start of hurricane season, trouble is coming to the Gulf of Mexico!

This system will likely bring heavy rain to Cuba, Florida and the Northeastern Gulf Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

4:00 PM CDT Fri May 25
Location: 19.4°N 86.3°W
Moving: E at 2 mph
Min pressure: 1005 mb
Max sustained: 40 mph

Hurricane season officially starts June 1.

 

 

 

Are you ready for Hurricane Season?

Making sure you are ready for Hurricane season can become a daunting task.   This article will help you become more proactive in the coming season.  This page explains what actions to take when you receive a hurricane watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area. It also provides tips on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane.

Hurricane Basics

What

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. These large storms are called typhoons in the North Pacific Ocean and cyclones in other parts of the world.

Where

Each year, many parts of the United States experience heavy rains, strong winds, floods, and coastal storm surges from tropical storms and hurricanes. Affected areas include all Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas and areas over 100 miles inland, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, parts of the Southwest, the Pacific Coast, and the U.S. territories in the Pacific. A significant per cent of fatalities occur outside of landfall counties with causes due to inland flooding.

When

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with the peak occurring between mid-August and late October. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15 and ends November 30.

Basic Preparedness Tips

  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
  • Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.
  • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city, or county name and the word “alerts.”

Preparing Your Home

  • Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.
  • Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.
  • Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.
  • Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.
  • Consider building a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter designed for protection from high-winds and in locations above flooding levels.

Hurricane Watch

Hurricane watch = conditions possible within the next 48 hrs.

Steps to take:

Hurricane Warning

Hurricane warning = conditions are expected within 36 hrs.

Steps to take:

  • Follow evacuation orders from local officials, if given.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Follow the hurricane timeline preparedness checklist, depending on when the storm is anticipated to hit and the impact that is projected for your location.

What to do when a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

What to do when a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

What to do when a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • 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” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

What to do when a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.

After a Hurricane

  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Avoid flood water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines and may hide dangerous debris or places where the ground is washed away.
  • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.

When there is no hurricane: Make a hurricane plan

  • Know your hurricane risk. Talk to your local emergency management agency.
  • Make an emergency plan.
    • Sign up for alerts and warnings
    • Make a Family Communication plan
    • Plan shelter options
    • Know your evacuation route
  • Build or restock your basic disaster supplies kit, including food and water, a flashlight, batteries, chargers, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Consider buying flood insurance.
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground or to evacuate.
  • Stay tuned to local wireless emergency alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.

Dreaded ‘Cone of Uncertainty’ will shrink for the coming Hurricane Season

The National Hurricane Center plans to shrink the dreaded “cone of uncertainty” during the upcoming season based on an improving forecast record.

The Miami-based center made the announcement Monday, along with a series of other changes intended to improve how hurricane forecasters convey warnings to the public. Along with the shrinking cone, forecasters will extend advisories, which include warnings and watches, to 72 hours in advance of a storm, providing a full additional day to prepare. Experimental graphics used last year to depict arrival times for dangerous winds will also become a permanent addition to forecasts.

“The changes are to improve information contained in the hurricane center products and to provide it in maybe easier to understand formats,” said Dan Brown, a senior hurricane specialist in charge of warning coordination.

The forecast cone has long been a fixture of the hurricane forecasts but frequently debated because the public tends to focus on the center track, ignoring dangerous winds and other hazards that can extend for many more miles.

The cone is calculated using the previous five-year record of forecast errors and drawn to reflect at least two-thirds of the inaccuracies. In other words, the cone provides a probable track about two-thirds of the time. Improved forecast tracks in recent years have allowed forecasters to narrow the cone, Brown said. Two years ago, they enlarged it to include 5-day forecasts and last year added tropical storm force wind projections.

But he warned the public should still consider the cone an imperfect estimate.

“A third of the time storms can still fall outside the cone,” he said. “It doesn’t provide you with any indication of potential impacts. It’s only showing you where the center is likely to track.”

Forecasters also felt improved forecast tracks allowed them to extend warnings and watches to provide more preparation time, Brown said. More people were also poring over forecast graphics that included five-day estimates, so it made sense to incorporate warnings, he said.

Last year the center also began tracking and warning about tropical systems even before they became full-blown tropical depressions or storms if they threatened land within 48 hours, a move made to improve warnings about storms that form in the Gulf and provide little time to prepare.

The Weather Prediction Center, which tracks systems once they weaken below tropical depression intensity, will also begin issuing advisories to better warn the public about ongoing hazards like heavy rain. Last year, the center compiled the information as Hurricane Harvey meandered off the Texas coast and concluded it helped better communicate the potential danger of the immense storm as it continued to do damage, Brown explained.

The changes come following a record-breaking year for Atlantic hurricanes — 10 formed in a row including Irma, the most powerful ever recorded outside the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Last year put the warnings tools to the test, Brown said, but does not necessarily drive this year’s changes, which were already being planned.

“Improving products is always on our minds,” he said.

However, the storms did confirm some efforts, particularly a big push to improve warnings about storm surge.

“Despite the fact three Cat 4 hurricane landfalls occurred in the U.S., there were no known storm surge-related deaths. There may have been other factors, but [storm surge warnings] certainly played into it,” he said. “The mapping is helping with better awareness.”

The center is also in the midst of a longer-term look at how it issues warnings as part of a 10-year effort to improve intensity forecasts. While forecasters have improved track projections dramatically, rapidly intensifying storms like Irma and Maria remain difficult to forecast.

Waves crash over a seawall at the mouth of the Miami River from Biscayne Bay as Hurricane Irma passes by in Miami on Sept. 10, 2017.

Boats block the Overseas Highway after Hurricane Irma’s surge tossed boats, cars, sheds, appliances and other debris onto the highway throughout the middle Keys on Sept. 10, 2017.

 

Article provided by Bradenton Herald