Hurricanes

Flood Maps
5:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Have We Been Overestimating Flood Risk On The Outer Banks?

A preliminary projection of what areas will see gains and reductions in base flood elevation.
Credit NC Department of Public Safety

It would be easy to look at the newest round of floodplain maps and think that we've been wrong about the Outer Banks all this time.

For the past decade, the standard line has been that things on the coast are getting worse. Sea levels are rising; the shoreline is eroding; flooding is becoming a bigger threat. Flood risk is largely determined by a series of maps produced by the state of North Carolina. Those maps then make their way to FEMA, who administer the National Flood Insurance Program. Basically, the higher your risk, the more you pay in flood insurance.

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Weather
5:22 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Quiet Atlantic Hurricane Season Predicted

Hurricane Irene churns through the Caribbean in 2011.
Credit nasa.gov

Preliminary forecasts predict a fairly quiet hurricane season along the Atlantic coast. 

Researchers at Colorado State University expect nine named storms this year.  They say three of those will likely become hurricanes.  The average season produces about six hurricanes. 

Atmospheric science professor Phil Klotzbach says a strong El Niño in the Pacific should dampen hurricane conditions in the Atlantic.

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Politics & Government
2:00 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

For Real Time Updates On Road Conditions, Launch App

The ReadyNC app is for Android and iPhone
Credit State of NC

There's a new app for Iphone and Android that could help North Carolinians in this week's winter weather. It's called ReadyNC.

This app does not replace 9-1-1. Rather, it's a place to look for local weather or road conditions, or to find a local shelter if needed.  The app is even designed to offer real-time flood conditions on local waterways.

The app launched not long ago, so this will be its first big test.

If you search for the app on iTunes or the Apple App Sotre, look for "ReadyNC" (No space.)

Links:

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Hurricane Season
5:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Hurricane Season Ends With A Whimper

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other forecasting organizations predicted an active hurricane season for 2013, but this season turned out to be the quietest since 1995.
Credit NOAA

The Atlantic hurricane season officially ended Saturday.

It turned out to be the quietest season since 1995, and it was first time in 19 years that no major storms formed in the Atlantic basin.

This came a surprise to forecasters.

Colorado State University predicted a higher-than average hurricane season. Researcher Paul Klotzbach says they estimated a 37-percent probability of a hurricane making landfall in North Carolina in August.

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Science & Technology
5:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Mild Hurricane Season - So Far

Satellite view of hurricane Irene in 2011.
Credit nasa.gov

The 2013 Atlantic storm season has been milder than expected so far. Only eight named storms have formed by the season's midpoint.  The latest -- Humberto -- is the first hurricane to form.

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Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

DOT Tests New Ramps On Emergency Ferry Route

A car loads onto the M/V Stanford White ferry at the Stumpy Point Ferry Terminal Thursday. DOT workers and contractors successfully tested new ramps at both Stumpy Point and Rodanthe, which serves as an emergency ferry route after major storms cut road access to Hatteras Island.
Credit NC DOT

In preparation for peak hurricane season, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has tested out two new ramps along its emergency ferry route. The ramps are located at Stumpy Point, on the mainland, and Rodanthe, on the Outer Banks, a route that would allow access to Hatteras Island if Highway 12 were damaged in a storm.

“We hope not to need these ramps anytime soon,” said NC Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon in a statement. “But if we do, the new ramps will provide the public safer and more reliable access to the emergency route that serves as a lifeline to Hatteras Island after a major storm.”

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Environment
5:47 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Researchers Unveil New Program That May Predict Storm Landfall

NOAA satellite picture of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. A new hurricane predictor model unveiled at Coastal Carolina University is named for the storm that hit South and North Carolina.
Credit NOAA

Weather forecasters may soon have a new tool that could predict a hurricane's landfall more accurately. Researchers at Coastal Carolina University say the Hurricane Genesis and Outlook -- or HUGO -- project uses climate factors and data from previous storm seasons to predict where a storm will hit up to five days in advance. 

The new model could mean more focused information when it comes to coastal evacuations.

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Environment
2:00 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

New Study To Research Local Hurricane Evacuation Behaviors

Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new survey will gather information about coastal residents' attitudes and behaviors regarding hurricane evacuations. For the next month, local and state emergency officials will be conducting phone interviews to find out how residents react to evacuations and how to better implement emergency practices, like transportation and sheltering decisions. The study is being conducted for North Carolina Emergency Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District. 

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Science & Technology
4:00 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

UNC Computer System Lets The Coast Know When High Waters Are Coming

A screen shot from the Surge Guidance System shows storm surge data from Hurricane Sandy, which hit the east coast in October 2012.
Credit RENCI

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill are using storm surge data to give coastal communities a better idea of what they can expect during hurricanes. 

The university's Renaissance Computing Institute, or RENCI, has a network called the Surge Guidance System.  It gathers intricate details of ocean activity to calculate where, how and when storm surge will affect certain areas. 

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Environment
4:50 am
Fri May 31, 2013

State Leaders Push Preparedness For Hurricane Season

Gov. Pat McCrory (left) and Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan (right) talk about the state's readiness for the 2013 hurricane season
Credit Gurnal Scott

WUNC's Gurnal Scott reports on North Carolina's preparation for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season.

State leaders are stressing the importance of preparation for residents and themselves as hurricane season begins this weekend.   Forecasters say the 2013 Atlantic storm season could be another busy one.  

Their prediction of up to 20 named storms could surpass last year's 19.  North Carolina leaders stood along with Governor Pat McCrory to say now is the time for everyone to prepare for whatever may come.

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