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CURRENT STORM SURGE REPORTS / GRAPHS

storm surge, gulf, floridda storm surge, current, real time, tampa, clearwater, fort myers, naples, current storm surge

ABOVE IS AN EXAMPLE TAKEN FROM A STRONG DECEMBER STORM IN 2023
(NOT A HURRICANE)

The BLUE LINE is where the tide/water level should be if everything is normal. i.e. no wind

The RED LINE is where the tide/water level/storm surge actually is. i.e. with wind

NOTE the differences between the two lines on 12/17 around 09:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). The prediction (blue line) was 2.3ft which would of been a normal high tide. The actual (red line) was 5.4 ft due to the storm surge. Therefore, the difference of 5.4 and 2.3 would be the "storm surge" of 3.1 ft. 

A 3.1 feet storm surge might not be a big deal when it is low tide, but at high tide it will definitely cause flooding in many areas.

Also note, that even after the storm has past, the actual water level takes some time to go back to normal as all the water settles back down.

LIST OF CITIES ON FLORIDA'S GULF COAST THAT HAVE REAL-TIME STORM SURGE WATER LEVELS

PENSACOLA (current)

Near Bartram Park

PENSACOLA (with predictions)

PANAMA CITY (current)

Near Panama City Marina

PANAMA CITY (with predictions)

CEDAR KEY (current)

Near Dock St.

CEDAR KEY (with predictions)

CLEAR WATER (current)

Near Clearwater Beach

CLEAR WATER (with predictions)

ST. PETERSBURG (current)

Near Albert Witted Airport

ST. PETERSBURG (with predictions)

OLD PORT TAMPA

Near Picnic Island Park

PORT MANATEE

Near North Dock St.

FORT MYERS

Near 41 and the 82

NAPLES (current)

Near 12th Ave off the coast

NAPLES (with predictions)

 

KEY WEST

Near Key West Amphitheater

storm surge, gulf, floridda storm surge, current, real time, tampa, clearwater, fort myers, naples, current storm surge

To get an idea of what the storm surge might be is:

  1. LISTEN TO YOU METEOROLOGIST. You may think they get it wrong sometimes, but weather is very localized. They give low end to high end estimates and are pretty close if you ask me. Wind speed, wind direction over time, storm direction, your location, your geographic features compared to the surge are all factors of whether you may see flooding or not (and meteorologists can't give each person a personalized weather report).

  2. DETERMINE THE DIRECTION OF THE STORM/HURRICANE. Is it coming from the East, West, North or South? Which way is the storm rotating during this path in relation to you? On one side of the storm, it may be pushing water away, but the other side is pushing towards you.

  3. DETERMINE HOW LONG THE WINDS WILL BE PUSHING TOWARDS YOU. Sometimes the storm will stay in a path that keeps the winds pushing and pushing the gulf in one direction. This would be like if you put a fan over a pool and then moved the fan in the same direction as the fan is blowing. The other places around the pool will not be as bad as the place that the fan not only blew towards, but moved towards, and kept gathering up more and more water along the way (making that area have significantly more storm surge). 

  4. DETERMINE YOUR GEOGRAPHIC AREA.  The wind direction compared to the geography of the inlets to the bays/creeks and rivers, can affect how the waters enters these bodies of water. The wind may be going towards you, but if the storm surge has to take a detour to get there by going around land that is not on the protected side, it can lessen it by the time it gets to you. However, if there is a straight path for the storm surge to enter the bay, enter the creeks, it will be much worse.

  5. DETERMINE YOUR TIDES. Storm surge predictions are usually listed in a range of feet. Lets say 3-5 feet for example. Your local tides might have a range from a low tide of 1 ft. to a high tide of 3 ft. So, if a storm surge was coming, you would want it to come at its peak during low tide. That would mean that the storm surge caused the water to rise only 1-2 ft. higher than your typical high tide. BUT, if the storm surge comes at high tide, then you will have the full 3-5 feet over your normal high tide. Not good.

  6. CHECK THE CURRENT STORM SURGES IN AREAS WHERE THE STORM HAS ALREADY PASSED OR IS APPROACHING. If the hurricane is moving from Key West to Tampa, you can see the storm surge affects along its way. Note. this usually doesn't giver you much more time to protect you property nut maybe you lives.

  7. ​ADD UP THE ABOVE FACTORS AND HOPE FOR THE BEST. Now you can have a better "guess" of what to expect, but please prepare for the worst.​ The storm surge peak can still be after high tide and even after the winds in your area have lessened. This is because the intensity of the storm from 1-2 hour ago and 30 miles away, may just now be getting to your neck of the woods in relation to the storm surge, since water travels slower than wind. Lastly a traffic jam of water has can happen when its trying to go back into the gulf due to the narrow inlets and the built of surrounding water. It takes a while for all that water to level out.

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