TRABUS Storm Surge Tracker Proves Helpful this Hurricane Season

San Diego, CA (September 16, 2020) – TRABUS data scientists and engineers have recently developed a storm surge and hurricane weather tracker that is proving useful to weather broadcasters, meteorologists and renowned hurricane expert, Jeff Masters, PhD—formerly of the Weather Channel and co-founder of Weather Underground. Dr. Masters is a regular contributor to Yale Climate Connections, a nonpartisan, multimedia service providing daily broadcast radio programming and original web-based reporting, commentary, and analysis on the issue of climate change. During the recent 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, Dr. Masters has used our technology to help track and understand Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Sally. According to Dr. Masters, the live tracker is a “great tool for keeping track of the storm surge”.  The surge tracker has now tracked two storms this season and during Hurricane Sally, the site received nearly 23,000 requests and 550 unique visitors to the page.

How It Works

The TRABUS storm surge tracker provides live updates of storm surge and hurricane induced weather information as a hurricane is making landfall. According to the National Hurricane Center, “storm surge is produced by water being pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds moving cyclonically around the storm”. Using tide gage data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the storm surge tracker calculates the storm surge level and provides live information on the coastal flooding happening as a hurricane makes landfall. The tracker typically covers about 400-500 miles of a coastal shoreline and provides information at about 30-40 sensor locations and  auto-updates the page with new information every 6 minutes. The tracker also uses NOAA’s sensor information to provide hurricane weather information such as peak wind gusts, the pressure readings (pressure drops significantly as the hurricane makes landfall) and the cumulative rainfall totals.

Our team plans to take the observed storm surges and archive them to our data archives. Using these historical surge data archives, our hope is to develop Artificial Intelligence-based predictive algorithms and analytics to forecast storm surge levels at a more granular resolution and greater accuracy than existing empirical models.

To access the TRABUS storm surge tracker, please visit https://surge.trabus.net

To read Dr. Masters’ blog posts on Yale Climate Connections, please visit https://yaleclimateconnections.org/

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