Tropical Storm Watch Information
What is a tropical storm watch?
A tropical storm watch is issued when tropical storm conditions, including
sustained winds of 39-73 mph, are possible in the designated watch area
within 36 hours. A tropical storm can impact all of Southern New England,
with the threats of: minor coastal flooding, beach erosion, scattered wind
damage, some power outages, and torrential rainfall resulting in flash
The Marine Threat
One of the biggest threats a tropical storm can pose to New England is to
the boating community. Your National Weather Service gives the following
tips to boat owners and marina operators on how to prepare for a tropical
- Boat owners should have all the necessary gear on board for properly
securing the vessel. Precious time will be lost if you are rushing
around searching for gear when the storm is approaching.
- Realize that you may not be able to pull your boat out of the water.
Your only alternative will be to properly tie your boat down.
- Have a plan worked out with the marina operator so there are no
questions or any confusion when the time comes to tie up or pull the
boat out of the water.
- Be sure to remove any non-essential items and have pictures and a
written description of the vessel for insurance purposes.
- If a tropical storm watch is issued while out at sea, boaters should
seek safe harbor immediately. Mariners are also advised to remain in
port until the tropical storm threat passes. The combination of
tropical storm force winds and large swells will challenge even the
most skillful mariner.
The Coastal Flood Threat
Tropical storms can bring large ocean swells and waves along with a storm
surge of several feet.
- Minor coastal flooding can occur, affecting the lowest lying areas.
Coastal residents should be ready to take in any outdoor items that
may lie close to the water.
- Large waves and swells will result in beach erosion.
- Everyone must remain clear of beaches. Large swells and waves can
create deadly rip currents which can pose a danger to even the most
- Evacuations due to winds are rarely needed, but some low-lying coastal
roads may need to be closed due to large swells and waves breaking
over sea walls.
Tropical storms not only affect the marine community, inland areas can be
affected with strong winds and flash flooding.
- Tropical storm force winds can cause scattered power outages as well
as damage to tree limbs.
- You should plan for some power disruption and may wish to have
batteries and flashlights at the ready.
- Torrential rains associated with tropical storms can lead to flash
flooding along small streams and rivers along with flooding of poor
drainage areas and streets.
- Anyone that might consider camping should postpone those plans until
the threat of high winds and flash flooding passes.
Learn more about Hurricane Preparedness from the National Hurricane Center.
April to May of each year is the best time to take action to protect
your family and property.