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National Weather Service
1325 East West Highway
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
The National Weather Service provides weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. NWS ... more
With little forecasted rain in sight and more than a month of hot summer-like conditions, the situation can only become worse.
This year has been the 12th hottest year on record since 1872, South said.
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"One of the lessons we learned from (Hurricane) Sandy, as an agency, is that we're shifting to more graphical depiction of storm surge," South said.
"The inclusion of the storm surge watch and warning -- along with the graphics people are used to seeing with storm tracking -- will be used maybe as early as next year."
Most Keys and South Florida residents are familiar with the "cone" graphic and storm surge warnings, but forecasters found people living in areas with little to no exposure to such powerful storms, such as the New York Tri-State Area, largely ignored or misunderstood the warnings, South said.
Scientists hope that maps depicting how far inland saltwater is expected to reach will be weighed with the same seriousness as other warnings, South said, citing that forecasters need to bridge the communication gap given the flooded subways in New York that many scientists predicted, but seemed to surprise many residents.
"Surge warnings for us in the Keys are not as groundbreaking as, say, along the East Coast, because people are more conditioned to pay attention to those warnings here," South said.
Many forecasters were in conferences this week developing new surge warnings guidelines and deciding how they will look, South said.
The 2012 season produced 19 named stormed, 10 of which became hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration press release.
Meanwhile, it's been seven years since a major hurricane made landfall in Florida, South said.
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