CPAESS at the National Hurricane Center

Oct 9, 2023

The National Hurricane Center’s job is to issue forecasts on all tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic and Northeast Pacific basins. An important part of the National Hurricane Center is the Storm Surge Unit. These scientists are “a small group of highly trained meteorologists and oceanographers specializing in predicting storm surge heights accompanying landfalling tropical cyclones using the Sea, Lake, and Overland Surges from Hurricanes (SLOSH) computer model” (NOAA).

CPAESS staff make up 11 members of this unit, which is the majority of this important team. Our co-workers at the Storm Surge Unit include:  Joshua Alland, Associate Scientist III; Alexandria Andonian, CPAESS Associate Scientist III - GIS Specialist; Jim Applegate, Web Developer III; Lixion Avila, Casual - Administrative Clerical III; William Booth, Associate Scientist IV; Allie Brannan, CPAESS Associate Scientist III; Luis Cortes-Hernandez, Progran Specialist I; Ethan Gibney, Associate Scientist IV; Andrew Penny, Associate Scientist IV; Tarah Sharon, Associate Scientist IV; and Ben Trabing, Associate Scientist III.

President Biden looking at a print out of maps

President Biden looking at a print out of products produced by CPAESS staff as he examines the progression of hurricane Idalia.

This unit is particularly important because the impact of storm surge can be deadly. Intense storms like tropical cyclones, typhoons or hurricanes cause the sea leve to rise. These storms then produce extremely strong winds which push water into shore, and  can lead to flooding, sometimes in the extreme. These floods or storm surge can cause considerable damage and loss of life. Our co-workers take their responsibilities to protect people’s lives and property very seriously.

The excellent work of this team has not gone unnoticed, even at the highest levels of government. During Hurricane Idalia, we have President Biden looking at a print out of products produced by CPAESS staff as he examines the progression of the hurricane. These products were created by CPAESS staff members Ethan Gibney, William Booth, and Laura Alaka (formerly of CPAESS). Congratulations to the three of you for generating such superb work that the president of the United States uses it. Thank you to the whole team for your wonderful life-saving efforts that safeguard the people of our country everyday.

Learn more about the National Hurricane Center and the Storm Surge Unit.

Article use
Announcement display dates