Why Actionable Tropical Weather Analytics Are Critical for Gulf Coast Cities

With hurricane season rapidly approaching, Gulf Coast cities are bracing for the potential impact. From Galveston, TX, to Miami, FL, towns and municipalities know that it’s time to prepare. Having accurate tropical weather analytics in their toolbelt is critical for leaders who need to make quick decisions.

When you are responsible for the safety and economic viability of a city or a business, you need as much information as possible. The experts at DTN have the tools you need to prepare as efficiently and proactively as possible. Reach out for a free demo today.

The Costliest of Storms

Natural disasters are always frightening and deeply impactful. But hurricanes are one of the most damaging of them all. Their devastation impacts the nation’s economy, infrastructure, and citizens more than any other type of storm. 

Some estimates place the cost of hurricanes at more than $28 billion each year. And roughly 60% of that falls on the shoulders of local, state, and federal governments. 

The storms’ unpredictable nature makes it challenging for leaders to plan with accuracy for their towns. In previous generations, in particular, sudden course changes could leave cities unprepared for the storm to hit.

The onslaught of a storm can also wreak havoc on offshore operations. Storm surges and high winds can create a serious situation very quickly. Damage to this equipment and danger to the crew are devastating.

Modern technology helps get actionable decision aids into the right hands. These reports allow government leaders and officials to make speedy decisions for specific towns. They also make it possible for offshore operations to remain safe. Having robust data ahead of a storm can minimize the personal and financial impact of a disaster.

Why Are Hurricanes So Costly and Dangerous?

Unless a person has experienced a hurricane first-hand, it is hard for them to understand its power. The overwhelming strength of this type of storm is difficult to comprehend. 

Hurricanes bring a trifecta of danger:

  1. Massive Storm Surges
  2. Extreme High Winds
  3. Extraordinary Rainfall

As a hurricane approaches, it can cause the sea level to rise up to 30 feet. This swell is catastrophic if it reaches the coastline. The power of this amount of water is tremendous and can displace boulders, trees, and thousands of pounds of sand in just moments. Docks, houses, and roads can disappear in the blink of an eye.

And the damage doesn’t stop there. The storm can move inland and cause flooding, mudslides, and tornadoes. Many times, the heavy rain and high water create more danger than the strong winds.

And even when the storm doesn’t reach land, it can cause chaos for offshore and marine enterprises. Machinery, vessels, and crew may find themselves in significant danger without proper preparation.

A Difficult Season Approaches

All along the Gulf Coast, towns are preparing for hurricane season. Residents can expect some level of disruption, and if predictions are accurate, the 2020 season will be worse than usual. This outlook has city leaders and business owners working on finetuning their emergency plans.

Experts anticipate more storms than in a typical year, and they expect at least half to reach hurricane strength. With a window that stretches from June 1 to November 30, there is plenty of time for storms to take their toll.

And with hurricane season coming amid the COVID-19 pandemic, governmental agencies are already stretched thin. This situation makes it even more vital that they have accurate, actionable intelligence. 

Many medical facilities in the south are working around the clock to deal with coronavirus outbreaks. If a major hurricane makes land during the crisis, hospitals may be overwhelmed.

So perhaps more than ever before, reliable forecasts are crucial for safety and continuity of services. Those in leadership will be relying on the data that is available to them.

The Financial Impact of Hurricanes

Each year, hurricanes create millions of dollars in damage and economic hardship. From business closures to the destruction of buildings and infrastructure, the financial effect is significant. And the additional hit of loss of income for affected residents adds to the woes. 

Hurricanes can further erode a city or state’s financial stability in other ways. Canceled flights and evacuation orders can cripple the Gulf Coast’s tourism industry. The threat of a hurricane impacts:

  • Resorts
  • Restaurants
  • Clubs and Bars
  • Hotels
  • Shops

In addition to problems on land, offshore entities are at significant risk as well. Damage to drilling operations can impact gas and oil prices in the region and beyond.

A Trustworthy Forecast Brings More Safety

It appears that Mother Nature chooses not to announce her intentions. So businesses, governments, and citizens need another tool to use as they plan for weather events. With homes, schools, equipment, and lives at stake, actionable information is critical.

When leaders have reliable weather reports, they can make decisions regarding:

  • School Closings
  • Evacuation Orders
  • Law Enforcement Needs
  • Medical and Hospital Resources
  • Emergency Shelters
  • Utilities Staffing
  • Environmental Protection
  • Collaboration with Airports, Department of Transportation, and Military

Governments and corporations need to have data they can access immediately for rapid decision-making. Real-time information that provides insights for leaders is critical during hurricane season. 

What Does Robust Forecasting Include?

Having access to advanced forecasts is only useful if it gives you the information that pertains to your situation. When choosing the forecasting solution that you need for your operations, be sure to consider all of the following functionality:

  • Flexibility
  • Customizability
  • Long-Range Forecasting Capability
  • Preferred Formats and Platforms: web, mobile, APIs
  • Relevant to Your Decision Needs 
  • Alerting Technology: texts, emails, notifications
  • Access to Expert Consulting Meteorologists 

During hurricane season, Gulf Coast residents must rely on the most accurate data available. To stay safe and minimize damage, they need insights that prompt action. Weather products such as those from DTN help keep all leaders and decision-makers on the same page. In the face of an incoming storm, these people can make the call that keeps people safe.

A Suite of Weather Options

The DTN range of solutions has one shared goal. They empower you to keep your people and operations as safe as possible. To see the power of our DTN products, reach out for a demo today. Don’t let another season catch you unprepared.