Observing Storms in Real Time

In October, Hurricane Mathew, with winds up to 140 mph, devastated the east coast from the Caribbean to the mid-Atlantic. It was the first category 5 Hurricane to hit the east coast since 2007.

CariCOOS, SECOORA and MARACOOS - the IOOS Regional Associations (RAs) in the Atlantic region affected by Hurricane Matthew – provided real-time data from buoys, coastal stations, forecast models throughout the storm. Forecasters and emergency managers were particularly interested in the real time information to confirm model predictions and forecasts. Information was made available through dedicated webpages that integrated regional and federal observing assets and on social media. Both SECOORA and MARACOOS provided updates and analysis from partner scientists on storm blog posts.

 


CariCOOS provided wave model predictions to the community and local officials. 

After the storm, SECOORA produced graphics that showed the location of the assets in relationship to the storm track.

The MARACOOS OceansMap provides access to all regional data and can be easily customized to specific parameters.

 

The real-time data on winds, waves and sea state assisted in the development of accurate and precise forecasts. The data provided by the RAs were used by weather forecasters and emergency managers for forecasts and report the actual conditions. Such data help emergency managers decide the best way to respond to dangerous situations.

Mathew first hit the Caribbean area. CariCOOS provided updates on the Hurricane Season page of their website that features the latest Atlantic Cyclone data and information. Throughout the storm, CariCOOS provided updates on waves from their regional models to the community and local officials.

As the storm progressed northward, SECOORA provided information on their website through a dedicated Hurricane Matthew resources page that integrated data from over 20 federal and non-federal partners. SECOORA scientists and partners provided updates on conditions through a real-time blog. After the storm, SECOORA produced graphics that showed the location of the assets in relationship to the storm track.

MARACOOS posted updates about storm conditions and threats on the MARACOOS Storm Resource Center page. MARACOOS scientists provided up-to-date analysis of the storm on the MARACOOS Blog. In addition, the MARACOOS OceansMap provides access to all regional data and can be easily customized to specific parameters.

All three RAs communicated regularly with NOAA to ensure that national forecasters had access to all available information to assess risk and provide accurate information.