New watches and warnings
FORT MYERS, Fla. – A number of changes are being made to the way you are warned about approaching storms.
Hurricane Ike provided a deadly reminder in 2008 that not all storms are created equal. Many residents on the Texas coastline determined that the risks of a category two storm did not give them sufficient motivation to evacuate.
It was the local disregard of the storm surge hazard that caused low numbers to evacuate and ultimately led to a significant loss of life in the Galveston area where over 100 people were killed from the storm, most from the 20-foot storm surge which was much higher than typically seen with a category two storm.
In the wake of Ike, lessons have been learned and now the National Hurricane Center is on the verge of issuing separate storm surge watches and warnings.
A storm surge watch will be issued when the possibility of life threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline could occur within 48 hours.
A storm surge warning will be issued when the threat becomes imminent and the danger of life threatening inundation is possible within 36 hours.