Beginning with this year's Atlantic hurricane season, the National Hurricane Center will begin issuing a Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map for areas along the coast at risk of storm surge from a tropical cyclone.
Storm Surge Leader for the National Hurricane Center Jamie Rhome says this has been in the works for a while.
"A step this big and significant is not trivial," Rhome insisted. "We are looking at about six years of work went into this."
The map is an experimental National Weather Service product providing valuable new information on storm surge hazards. Rhome says the graphic will be pretty straight forward that will communicate two aspects of storm surge the organization has struggled with.
"One, how deep the water will be above ground. And two, how far inland the water can go," he explained.
The maps will predict how deep the water will be above ground and how far inland the water will go. They will be available 48 hours prior to landfall or during the watch and warning phase. Rhome says the map will change as a storm approaches the coast.
"The map will take into account the latest information regarding the storm itself, including the latest forecast. It will be updated every six hours to be consistent with the latest forecast information."