The estimated track of Tropical Storm Idalia as of 7 a.m. Aug. 29, 2023, is mapped.

The estimated track of Tropical Storm Idalia as of 7 a.m. Tuesday is mapped.

Credit: NOAA

  • Mary Landers, The Current

With Tropical Storm Idalia expected to impact Coastal Georgia Wednesday, it’s a good time to review where the best local information on tropical weather and emergency planning resides. Listed below are sites and sources we at The Current look to in each of the coastal counties and at the national level.

Each county operates an emergency management agency that will provide information and warning specific to that county. EMAs typically collaborate with the municipalities within their county as well as with state leaders in issuing guidance on storms, including evacuation orders. Most also operate programs, such as Code Red or CEMA Alerts, that allow residents to sign up for email or text updates. 

First on any list are the forecasts and warnings from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA provides regular updates on storms, with plain language explanations as well as multiple graphics showing expected effects. Find it at

If you prefer Facebook, NOAA operates a page there, too. 

Check these resources for more information about tidal flooding in Georgia:

  • NOAA provides several resources on coastal flooding, including the NOAA Coastal Inundation Dashboard, which provides real-time water levels with forecasts out to 48 hours for all tidal stations.
  • NOAA’s high tide flooding report allows comparison of the number of tidal floods each year at each tide gauge. It also provides predictions of the flooding expected in the future. Georgia has only one NOAA tide gauge at Pulaski. The closest gauge to Brunswick is in Fernandina Beach. 
  • The Smart Sea Level Sensor Dashboard maps out its sensors and provides real-time data about water levels (and other environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity and barometric pressure) at 60 sites around Chatham County.

For straight talk about what to expect as a hurricane approaches, many Savannah-area residents rely on Chuck Watson, a native Savannahian and hazards researcher who knows both tropical weather and Coastal Georgia well. Watson’s wry take on every situation (“You’re doomed. Here’s why …” is his tagline) somehow makes bad weather better. Watson writes a blog available on his Enki Research website. He updates frequently as storms approach. The blog contents are typically repeated on his Facebook page.

Links to the six coastal EMA websites and/or their Facebook pages follow:

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with The Current