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Noah teaches storm tide monitoring

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By Kellie Parkin

Dan Noah, Warning Coordination Meteorologist for the National Weather Service – Ruskin, visited Cedar Key Thursday afternoon to meet with officials and residents for Levy Tide Project training. Noah held a similar training for Yankeetown earlier in the day.

New storm tide markers based on accurate Mean Sea Level readings have been placed around Cedar Key and Yankeetown, allowing municipal emergency responders to work closely with the NWS-Ruskin, and resulting in more accurate data to determine storm surge behavior.

The purpose of Noah’s visit was to train the emergency responders, city commissioners, and officially designated residents to accurately report visual readings of the tide markers to NWS. Trainees were also given an overview of how NWS uses the tide information to forecast storm activity.

“Read the sign when the wave is at its lowest point and then tell us how high the waves are,” Noah told the trainees. “We want the base wave plus the wave action.”

The responders were given a restricted access NWS phone number to call when reporting storm tides. “Identify yourself and mention that this call relates to the Storm Tide Poles in Levy County,” Noah said.

Responders were encouraged to photograph and take video when possible to document severe weather. “That helps us build our database,” Noah said.

Levy County Emergency Management Director Mark Johnson said he was pleased with the support of the coastal communities.

“By tapping into the talents out here, it’s going to give me much better data to base my recommendations for protective active decisions,” he said.

Dan Noah will return to Cedar Key in November for SKYWARN Spotter training. The volunteer based SKYWARN program gives residents a chance to learn how to identify and describe severe local storms and then report them to NWS.

Information provided by SKYWARN spotters, together with Doppler radar technology, improved satellite and other data, enables NWS to issue more timely and accurate warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash floods, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For more information, visit www.nws.noaa.gov/skywarn.