Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Focus on Zone 2

The SCIPP program has recently divided the Gulf Coast into 10 storm surge zones for statistical analysis. Tropical Storm Don will likely impact "Zone 2," an area of the Central Texas Coast from near Port Lavaca to Freeport, Texas.

Surge research through the SCIPP program identified 14 surge events between 1900 and 2010 that peaked in Zone 2. The image above provides a snapshot of these surge events. The highest surge was 18.5 feet in Hurricane Carla (1961), the lowest was four feet in three separate events. Three of these events were generated by tropical storms: Tropical Storm Abby (1964), which produced a 4-foot surge between Matagorda and Freeport, TX; Tropical Storm Candy (1968), which produced a 4.5-foot surge in Palacios, TX; and Tropical Storm Frances (1998), which produced an 8-foot surge at Matagorda Locks.

These comparisons may help provide a very general guidance of surge potential from Tropical Storm Don, as Don should approach the Central Texas Coast as a tropical storm. Stay tuned to the National Hurricane Center, your local National Weather Service Forecast Office and local media outlets for the latest forecasts.

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