September 14, 2018

The Weather Channel brilliantly depicts a storm surge.



Meanwhile, "Hurricane Florence's Eyewall Reaching North Carolina Coast, Landfall Imminent; Catastrophic Flash Flooding to Hammer the Carolinas, Appalachia" (Weather Channel).

ADDED: I like the way an invisible shield protected the weatherman from the storm surge. It made me think of Colgate with Gardol:



IN THE COMMENTS: traditionalguy said:
Most beach houses are built on stilts 10 feet high off the ground. That's the Gardol.This shows a storm surge that is coming ashore in a regular inland neighborhood.
I have no idea if it's most houses, even those that count as "beach houses," and as you say, there are many more houses that would be hit by a 13-foot surge. FEMA has a grant program to lift houses onto stilts. It's an ongoing program. I haven't looked into how far-reaching the program has been, but here's an example of a woman who's delighted to have qualified for the funding and the men who are doing the hard work of raising her old house off its foundation:

73 comments:

rehajm said...

The best storm metric is the Waffle House Index. If the Waffle House is closed, it's really bad.

Mercifully the major storm missed us this year- too far north. We're working on helping out our northern neighbors.

rehajm said...

Decent clubhead speed for that Hogan guy in that ad.

tim in vermont said...

Before global warming, hurricanes were more like summer thunderstorms.

traditionalguy said...

Most beach houses are built on stilts 10 feet high off the ground. That's the Gardol.This shows a storm surge that is coming ashore in a regular inland neighborhood.

rehajm said...

For when you want storm information but don't want to suffer The Weather Channel. Maue is usually hours ahead of TV coverage (he puts together many of the maps they use).

tim in vermont said...

So if it’s a regular old Hurricane, same as have been hitting the Carolinas for as long as we have been keeping records, is Trump still to blame?

gilbar said...

TiV Yes, Trump is ALWAYS TO BLAME

traditionalguy said...

This one looks like heavy rain and wind is headed for the Smokies in Western NC. I hope it doesn't ruin leaf season.

Ralph L said...

I thought storm surge was measured from sea/river level, not ground level, which is a bit different most places.

Birkel said...

Lower air pressure is a big factor in storm surge. Nobody ever seems to mention that.

rhhardin said...

Gardol lost out to flouride.

MountainMan said...

traditionalguy said: "This one looks like heavy rain and wind is headed for the Smokies in Western NC."

TVA dams in East TN have been releasing water and lowering lake levels all week in preparation for the rain that is supposed to arrive this weekend.

rehajm said...

Probably contractually obligated FEMA money taking lady says...

I am absolutely concerned about climate change, more rain, more high winds, just in the last few years a lot of things that all together make these type storms do a lot more damage...hopefully we'll see it sort of rolling back toward more normal in a few years...

Caught up in the big puffy word cloud the AGW people wafted up in the air she now recites a lot of sciencey sounding stuff not based on real science.

the root cause of the country’s escalating number of weather- and climate-related disasters is not necessarily a rise in the frequency or intensity of these events but the increasing exposure and vulnerability of populations that lie in their path”.

In short: move your house away from the water instead of just moving it vertically, lady.

Bill Peschel said...

On Ocean Isle (where my family summered for a couple of years), the beach houses available for rent were raised 10-12 feet.

Over the years, they were replaced with multi-bedroom houses built on foundations.

I just checked the weather map to see where Florence came ashore. Ocean Isle is right at the center.

Bill Peschel said...

I just checked Zillow for the valuation of the houses on Ocean Isle. Zooming in on my neighborhood, they range from $120K to $1.1 million.

Back in 1975, that area consisted of a single row of houses facing the beach, which huge sand dunes on the interior side. A kid could roam that area and not see anyone and get lost.

And the houses on stilts? They were duplexes, consisting of a kitchen / living room combination and three bedrooms. Not 5BR, 5 bath ground-level buildings with swimming pools.

Let's see if the zillow link works:


FleetUSA said...

Tuned in to The Weather Channel 2 nights ago and the man there was acting like the storm would be enormous and sounding clearly like many libs with TDS. Can't we get the weather without all the acting.

Edmund said...

The FEMA house raising program in Houston is a lottery if you qualify. they seem to do 10 or so houses per year. And there are hundreds near me that need to be raised, not to mention other parts of town.

Tom Grey said...

Living in a house should require the folk get insurance, so that if the house is damaged by a "now predictable" storm, it will be the at-risk insurance buyers who pay for the at-risk victims.

TVA with lakes and dams releasing water? A huge amount of storm damage is due to water. Flood area towns and cities should be required to have mitigation anti-flood areas ready to help reduce the damage.

Those who blame this on global warming/ climate change, yet continue to argue against nuclear power, have some other agenda rather than helping people have better lives.

rehajm said...

Not 5BR, 5 bath ground-level buildings with swimming pools.

I've been to Ocean Isle and think I know what you're talking about but many of those houses 'on foundations' are similarly constructed to the houses on pilings. The first floor is usually a garage and entrance but not living space. They are still designed to have water flow and flood underneath. Our friends in Hilton Head have a place like this- when it floods (as it has twice in the last few years) they have to repaint the walls in the garage but that's about it.

Ralph L said...

They keep delaying arrival and lessening wind forecasts here in the NC Piedmont, which is good as we plan to travel north today to a funeral. Sorry, South Carolina.

The Crack Emcee said...

rhhardin said...

"Gardol lost out to flouride."

Did you notice how they changed the spelling of "Guard"?

Can't Truss It

Ralph L said...

If you're going to use a swimming pool at the beach, why not stay home?

The new owners took out the cypress and spanish moss and put a few trailers next to my grandparents' 1934 cottage at White Lake east of Fayetteville. We lost the pier deck and hut twice to storms and once to rot.

tim in vermont said...

Hogan sure did have a sweet swing.

Phil 3:14 said...


”Gardol lost out to fluoride”

Yes but Gardol won’t pollute our precious bodily fluids.

iowan2 said...

Living in a house should require the folk get insurance, so that if the house is damaged by a "now predictable" storm, it will be the at-risk insurance buyers who pay for the at-risk victims.

To put a finer point on this. Insurance insures against personal financial disaster. If you have the cash, you don't need the insurance. Although insurance can be analyzed to be a wise investment, or maybe risk management tool, is a better term. The question is, do the people across the nation have to subsidize those that choose to live in dangerous areas? One of the reasons that $ million homes have replaced summer shacks on the beach, is because insurance is available, because it is underwritten by all of the taxpayers in the nation. I don't think I should help a person that already has the wealth to build a $million home on the beach, protect that wealth, so he has a way to manage a risk he otherwise could not.

EDH said...

The Weather Channel brilliantly depicts a storm surge.

Kind of a Cecil B. DeMille rip-off, if you ask me.

Robert Cook said...

"Most beach houses are built on stilts 10 feet high off the ground."

I grew up at the beach in Jacksonville, Florida, and the houses I saw on stilts--only a couple or so--were not beachfront homes, in fact, were well away from the beachfront, about a mile or so. None of the beachfront homes were on stilts. (Our house was two blocks from the beachfront.)

Maybe this is true in particular places, but it is not universally true.

michaele said...

It often seems that people who verbally fret about manmade climate change are the ones with second homes and who like to indulge in international travel. Such carbon producing indulgences always strike me as hypocritical.

exhelodrvr1 said...

"Before global warming, hurricanes were more like summer thunderstorms."

Volcanoes weren't as bad, either.

richlb said...

The audio helps, too. Very well done visualization.

While many coastal homes in NC are built on stilts, that ends after you get off the shore. The town of New Bern (one of the oldest establishments in the US) is on a river and the flooding there looks terrible. The storm is basically pushing water back up the river to flood the town. Nothing there is built off ground level. That visualization is what will happen there.

tcrosse said...

Maybe this is true in particular places, but it is not universally true.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a house in possession of a beach must be in want of stilts.

Ann Althouse said...

Gardol was "Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (INCI), also known as sarkosyl, is an ionic surfactant derived from sarcosine used as a foaming and cleansing agent in shampoo, shaving foam, toothpaste, and foam wash products." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_lauroyl_sarcosinate

And: "According to a 2015 report by market research company Kantar Worldpanel, Colgate is the only brand in the world purchased by more than half of all households." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colgate_(toothpaste)

Bill Peschel said...

Thanks, rehajm, for clarifying how they're building the homes on OI.

I'll add that these barrier islands are essentially sand dunes. As I was told, hurricanes build them and hurricanes sweep them away.

Building million-dollar houses (usually rentals, BTW) and getting everyone to pay for their reconstruction is an excellent example of perverse incentives.

Virgil Hilts said...

Trivia Q that many get incorrect. What's the worst natural disaster (loss of like) in u.s. history. Galveston. Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson is a great book. Cubans warned us that a hurricane was headed towards that part of the gulf (where hurricanes "never hit") but what the hell did Cubans know about hurricanes. So we ignored them and people in Galveston did not even know it was coming. When the surf was sucked way out before the surge, people and kids ran to the beach to see the cool phenomenon. And because hurricanes "never hit" that part of the gulf, hardly any structures were elevated/on stilts.

Bob Boyd said...

Did you hear about the guy who stopped to brush his teeth? The surge came in and now he's Missing Missing Missing!

tcrosse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tcrosse said...

Ed Herlihy has chased away Mean Old Mr. Tooth Decay, and he probably knows where the Yellow Went. Bucky Beaver not available for comment.

Barry Dauphin said...

Why is the guy wearing a raincoat? He's inside in front of a green screen.

SeanF said...

Ralph L: I thought storm surge was measured from sea/river level, not ground level, which is a bit different most places.

I was going to make the same point. I think it's measured from normal high-tide level, but still - a six-foot storm surge doesn't mean six feet above ground level.

Bob Boyd said...

"I think it's measured from normal high-tide level"

The depiction of the surge in the video has more to do with the way ratings are measured.

Big Mike said...

Building million-dollar houses (usually rentals, BTW) and getting everyone to pay for their reconstruction is an excellent example of perverse incentives.

Which is why we need the Blue Zone tax proposed by Glenn Reynolds.

BudBrown said...

TV weather guys always comparing the high tide times with the expected storm surge times.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Edmund said...

And there are hundreds near me that need to be razed...

FIFY

Chris N said...

Why do taxpayers have to pay to raise a lady's vacation cottage and then FEMA gets to use it as an ad for themselves with a climate change backdrop?

Ah, yes, never mind.

Big Mike said...

Trump needs to demonstrate his mastery of the weather by having a Cat 4 Pacific hurricane (or typhoon, if you’re anal) slam into San Francisco.

Big Mike said...

I mean Trump took Florence from Cat 4 down to Cat 1, if not tropical storm level, and he still only gets complaints.

Amexpat said...

I'm for reasonable government help to people in need. Spending taxpayers' money to help secure someones vacation home is not reasonable. It's absurd!

Wilbur said...

Wilbur knows Ben Hogan's swing. That was not Ben Hogan.

Wilbur lives in Hollywood, just south of Fort Lauderdale. My house is not in an evacuation or flood zone and is probably 10 miles inland from the beautiful Hollywood beaches. I-95 sits between us and the ocean. The house is as old as I am (built in 1954) and sits at the very highest point in the city.

Wilbur still buys flood insurance. Like the third base coach exhorts hitters "It only takes one!".

Michael K said...

The best simulation of a storm "surge" was the tsunami in the movie "Hereafter" which was about the Thailand tsunami that killed thousands. The movie showed a French couple vacationing and the women goes shopping in the market near the hotel. The special effects were terrific.

Friends had beach houses in Capistrano Beach just north of San Clemente when a really big series of winter storms sucked the beach out from under them. They were built on pilings and several were 20 feet in the air until the beach came back. Normally, they are at ground (sand) level. The same thing happened in Malibu that year.

There has not been a serious hurricane in southern California since 1938. If global warming was real, there would be hurricane season in southern California. The Mexican hurricanes do not go north of Cabo San Lucas where the water turns warm.

Oso Negro said...

@ Virgil Hilts - I have lived in Galveston off and on for 31 years. I assure you, the water is not “sucked out” before a surge. It comes up steadily and then faster near the peak. In 1900 people went out to see the early part of the surge rolling through normally dry city streets. I think you are confusing a hurricane tide with a tsunami.

PM said...

Nobody gets hopped up like The Weather Charnel.

johns said...

It's the parting of the Red Sea!! Now I believe.

Yancey Ward said...

Someone already mentioned it above, but my first thought on watching that was the Red Sea scene in The Ten Commandments.

tim in vermont said...

Wilbur knows Ben Hogan's swing. That was not Ben Hogan.

The Magic of Ben Hogan’s Swing

rehajm said...

I think you are confusing a hurricane tide with a tsunami.

Winds from approaching hurricanes can drain bays and estuaries of water. Example.

rehajm said...

That was not Ben Hogan.

I was going by the fashions...

Oso Negro said...

@rehajm - look at the tracking map! Irma did not come ashore in Tampa, therefore there was not a surge in Tampa. They got the wind. Galveston Bay empties out when we have a sustained norther blow through for a few days. I have never seen the bay emptied by a hurricane. We get a surge regardless of whether we are on the wet or dry side. We don’t get the bay emptying.

rehajm said...

Oso Negro-

Here's more evidence form a meteorologist discussing the phenomenon. She also discusses it being taught to meteorologists. Stick to your story if you must but you're going to need to do a world of reeducation, and also change the textbooks... More Evidence

rcocean said...

Houses on stilts are great, until an earthquake comes along.

rcocean said...

Most insurance companies won't give you insurance if your house is too close to the coast in FLA.

Sebastian said...

So I paid for a bunch of white dudes to raise some lady's house?

This is wrong on many levels.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

tim in vermont said...

The Magic of Ben Hogan’s Swing

And the comedy that is Charles Barkley's golf swing

Deanna said...

Are there any Althousians in the path of the storm?

JHapp said...

20,000 years ago when our glaciers started melting the sea level was 400 ft lower and the Atlantic coast was out 300 miles. The percentage of people on the left who know this is 0.0.

BUMBLE BEE said...

A friend of mine once observed that people might have considered that the trees in Florida are usually under 20 feet tall. Could be a tell.

tim in vermont said...

OK, now I am getting ads for the hat that that golfer is wearing.

tim in vermont said...

Whoever that guy is, he has an enviable swing. not a lot of wasted motion, but a lot of effect. I would be interested in a technical explanation as to why it is not Ben Hogan.

Richard Dolan said...

"I like the way an invisible shield protected the weatherman from the storm surge. It made me think of Colgate with Gardol ..."

Now that's an active and very imaginative visual association, reaching back a long, long way. Kudos.

Oso Negro said...

@rehajm - if I believed meteorologists instead of my own lying eyes, I would be dead just now. The official forecast for Hurricane Ike was certain death. Yet, strangely I seem to be a sentient and animate being. I have had a house in Galveston since 1988 and have experienced numerous hurricanes. Per the dire predictions of weather experts, I should be inundated due to rising sea level, but I am not. Trust me, when you live on a sandbar in the Gulf of Mexico that tops out at 15 feet, you pay attention to tides and storms. I am telling you that my lived experience is that when hurricanes steam into my part of the Gulf, they are pushing a bunch of water which was not previously sucked out of the Bay, forming a land bridge to the mainland. Further, per the historical record, this did not happen in 1900.

Oso Negro said...

@rehajm - Here's the NOAA tide data for Ike, see page 28. No suck.

https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/publications/Hurricane_Ike_Water_Levels_Meteorological_Data_Report.pdf

tim in vermont said...

Maybe Google saw my avatar and figured I need a new hat.

rehajm said...

Good luck with all the texbooks, Oso..

Oso Negro said...

@rehajm - do you think they would be more difficult than Physical Chemistry or Differential Equations or Chemical Reactor Design? I am guessing “no”. But I will be happy to pay for your travel and give you a boat (you won’t need it, all the water will be sucked out of the Bay) to await the next hurricane coming to Galveston. I will also buy some meteorological textbooks for you to stand on. It will take longer for your smart ass to drown that way.