Tropical Session Abstracts (Saturday)

8:05am - 8:35am // KEYNOTE: Hurricane Ready Nation: Challenges to Achieving Coastal Resilience // Bill Read // Former Director, NHC

While very promising work on improving hurricane forecasting of track, intensity, and size is ongoing, we have reached a level of skill where the improved forecasts won't change the outcome as far as losses due to landfalling tropical cyclones. The presentation will overview the land use, building code, and human nature factors that impede become more resilient to the impact of hurricanes. Areas where progress could be achieved will also be presented. While the problem is national, I will focus the talk on challenges facing coastal Texas.

8:35am - 8:45am // Discussion Time with Bill Read // Bill Read // Former Director, NHC

8:45am - 9:00am // The Role of Effective and Well-Enforced Building Codes in Reducing Wind Driven Losses - The Case of Florida // Kevin Simmons // Austin College

9:00am - 9:15am // WFO Corpus Christi Collaboration with the U.S. Military in Advance of Tropical Storm Bill // John Metz // NWS Corpus Christi

Every time a tropical cyclone threatens the Texas Coast, our partners in the United States Military including the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and U.S. Army Depot in Corpus Christi have to make the critical decision whether to relocate assets or prepare numerous facilities for significant weather impacts, and this was no exception during Tropical Storm Bill. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Corpus Christi has a close partnership with the military and provided round the clock updates and briefings during Bill. Their confidence in NWS forecasts calling for only a land falling tropical storm prevented them from having to implement their staging and relocation plans.

9:15am - 9:30am // The Impact of Hurricanes on Local Economies // Bob Bland // University of North Texas

This study examines the impact of major hurricanes between 1998 and 2014 on changes in county-level GDP for four states – Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. Using monthly GDP data for 110 coastal counties, we examine how the speed of economic recovery is related to three sets of factors: (1) the prior experience that these counties have had with hurricanes and their severity; (2) the role of institutional factors such as the proximity of the state's disaster management function to the Governor’s Office and the size of state and local emergency management offices; and (3) the timing and amount of federal and state aid for disaster relief. This research will inform policy leaders and scholars on the role that these factors have in facilitating the restoration of local economies following a major weather event.

9:30am - 9:45am // Predicting Tropical Cyclone Storm Surge // Michael Buchanan // NWS Corpus Christi

The greatest contributor to the loss of life and property during a tropical cyclone is most often due to storm surge. With an increasing coastal population in the United States, the need to accurately predict storm surge in advance of an approaching tropical cyclone is vital to saving lives and mitigating property loss.

The Sea, Lake and Overland Surges from Hurricane (SLOSH) model is the primary method used by the National Weather Service (NWS) to predict storm surge. The main SLOSH model output known as Probabilistic Storm Surge or P-Surge serves as the foundation for the experimental products, Storm Surge Watch/Warning and Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map. These two experimental products will convey the most timely and accurate prediction of tropical cyclone storm surge for the vast majority of NWS customers and partners. The Hurricane Local Statement, Storm Surge Hurricane Threat and Impact (HTI) grid, and the Nearshore Wave Prediction System all use P-Surge guidance as their inputs and will also be discussed.