What to know about hurricane hazards and storm surges as hurricane season approaches

Be Prepared for hurricane season

By Justin Horne - Weather Authority Meteorologist/Reporter, RJ Marquez - Digital Content Curator, The National Weather Service
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Flooded homes near Lake Houston after Hurricane Harvey on Aug. 30, 2017.

SAN ANTONIO - This week marks Hurricane Preparedness Week. After last year’s encounter with Hurricane Harvey, many on the Texas coast are going to keep a close eye on the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Their impacts can be felt hundreds of miles inland, and significant impacts can occur without it being a major hurricane. You can click here for hurricane safety tips and resources.

It’s a good reminder to know evacuation routes and have a plan, even as far inland as San Antonio.

The National Weather Service has various resources to help people prepare for hurricanes and severe weather.   

Hurricane Hazards

While hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property, tropical storms and depression also can be devastating. The primary hazards from tropical cyclones (which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents.

  • Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast.
  • Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers, and estuaries.
  • Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from landfalling tropical cyclones.
  • Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
  • Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. Signs, roofing material, and other items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
  • Tornadoes can accompany landfalling tropical cyclones. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
  • Dangerous waves produced by a tropical cyclone's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion, and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than a 1,000 miles offshore.

Learn the dangers of a hurricane storm surge with this fast draw video. 

The National Weather Service also has several social media options to follow. Click here for more information! 

Hurricane season officially begins on June 1 with the peak in September.

Copyright 2018 by KSAT - All rights reserved.