Behind-the-Scenes With Our Flood Room Team
Our Regional Hazards team keeps us well informed on any meteorological hazard in the region. King tides and coastal inundation are concerns for many. Where do king tides fit in this picture?
Waikato Regional Hazards Team Leader Rick Liefting explains:
"First, it's important to know that coastal inundation due to a storm surge event can and has occurred over periods of ‘normal’ tides, for instance the 1938 event in the Firth of Thames occurred on a ‘normal’ tide (i.e. not a king tide).
"Second, a king tide with no or little storm surge is unlikely to pose any significant risk along our low-lying areas. Therefore, we focus primarily on the possibility of a storm event, than look at what the tides are doing to get a fuller picture of potential impacts."
So when do you start tracking storms for the Waikato?
"The earliest we would know of a potential storm event coming through our region is ~10 days using available forecast sites. Forecasts out over the 7-10 day period include significant uncertainty, so we do not get alarmed if there is ‘something’ out there, but use that as a trigger to track the storm and collect further info from MetService and other weather providers to see if the models are aligning and look at the tide cycles in terms of possible coastal impacts."
"Seven days out, if it looks like we need to act, we start to plan teleconferences and provide any extra info as required for our stakeholders.
"Five days out, MetService will start to produce weather alerts, with severe weather outlooks. 72-48 hours out, MetService sill issue any severe weather watches, with warnings coming 24-12 hours out. The closer the event comes the more certainty is provided by the forecasts, but some uncertainty still remains."
Big thanks to Rick and the team for that heads up. You are welcome to see the Flood Room live online when it is activated and read the interpreted "what it means for us" reports from Rick and his team.
And while you're here, check out some of the 'art' (ahem) we've made to explain and illustrate King Tides in the past.