Headline for Featured Item #1 Five New Tide Monitoring Stations Stand to be Tested by Active Hurricane Season - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
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Five New Tide Monitoring Stations Stand to be Tested by Active Hurricane Season

June 07, 2013

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Just in time for what is predicted to be an active hurricane season, the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science (CBI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has expanded the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (TCOON) to provide critical information that will be used to ensure the safety of residents living along the entire Texas Gulf Coast.

The recent expansion of the TCOON with five new monitoring stations increases the network to 30 stations and will enhance the data set used to support public safety decisions before, during, and after the passage of a hurricane or tropical storm. The instrumentation, which will collect information on water level, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, air temperature, and water temperature, will operate and transmit data every six minutes, even through storms and hurricanes.

“This information will help local, state, and federal agency officials make the best decisions regarding the flooding of evacuation routes, low lying areas, community infrastructure, and public safety,” said James Rizzo, CBI Assistant Director of Operations. “The data will also assist researchers from the National Ocean Service, the National Weather Service, the National Hurricane Center by providing accurate, federally-approved data used in water level and storm surge forecasting.”

The CBI is frequently called upon by local, state, and federal agencies to assist with hurricane response. TCOON stations located along the Texas Coast collect, process, and disseminate data to users through CBI web portal and to emergency responders immediately once processing is complete.

Rizzo added that the CBI recently developed specialized software that will allow the local National Weather Service Office to seamlessly integrate near real-time observations into its weather forecasting systems to better predict the effects of an incoming storm.

The new monitoring station have been installed approximately 15 feet above sea level to protect equipment from high-water events such as storm surge, which have historically damaged or destroyed data collection systems.

Since 1989, CBI has collected and provided real-time water level and meteorological information essential to managing coastal resources, while providing essential information used in forecasting high-water events along the Texas Coast. All TCOON data collection stations meet scientific guidelines established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS). The five new stations funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are located at High Island, Galveston Railroad Bridge, Matagorda City, Sargent, and Aransas Wildlife Refuge.

  • Galveston Island after Hurricane Ike in 2008
  • New platform located in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
  • New platform located in the Intracoastal Waterway at High Island

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