Hurricane Matthew Data Resources: Quick Snapshot (not inclusive)

Hurricane Matthew delivered a one-two-three punch (wind, storm surge, rain) to the Southeastern States last week.  Some of the facts/statistics on the storm are captured very well in this recent Washington Post – Capital Weather Gang article.  In fact, Matthew shattered many  records, summarized well in this CNN Article.

In the first few weeks after the storm, there is a often a mad rush to grab and review real-time data collected during the storm and to collect new data to determine the degree of the storm’s impact.  Because Hurricanes are unique storms that bring combined individual weather hazards (extreme wind, rain, storm surge, and waves), they can cause a host of very damaging impacts including coastal inundation, coastal erosion, riverine flooding, and wind damage.  To capture all of these impacts one needs to find specific datasets for each hazard in some cases.  Below, I have attempted to provide a quick snapshot (not all inclusive) and links to these various datasets, by hazard type as well as overall impact.  Please keep in mind, some of these datasets are still preliminary and some are also still being collected and are being posted daily.

Overall Impact Information

FEMA has a Hurricane Matthew resources page with links to many FEMA related resources and contact information.

The FEMA Hurricane Incident Journal is part of the FEMA GeoPlatform provides relevant spatial decision-making support for FEMA leadership and a view into federal information available to the general public. New information from Matthew response will be continuously added as it comes in.

FEMA also has a list of federal agencies support to FEMA for the flooding caused by Matthew.

FEMA post-storm damage assessment data is available and appears to contain  buildings/parcels.

Many raw post-storm datasets are coordinated and hosted via the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System (HDDS).  Search by “event” and 2016 events/201610_Matthew_US for US centric datasets and 201610_Matthew for non-US coverage.

River Flooding Information

National Weather Service River Flooding Forecasts  and inundation mapping locations are available. Many forecast points (USGS gages) in Eastern North and South Carolina experienced record flooding.

Example of an inundation map for the Neuse River at Kinston, NC based on predicted flooding of 28 ft (gauge height) compared to FEMA 1% chance (100-year – light blue) annual flood boundary and 0.2% chance (500-year - orange).
Example of an inundation map for the Neuse River at Kinston, NC based on predicted flooding of 28 ft (gauge height) compared to FEMA 1% chance (100-year – light blue) annual flood boundary and 0.2% chance (500-year – orange).

The State of North Carolina maintains the Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network.  This mapping application shows real-time flooding and inundation mapping at many point locations as well as impact information on buildings, roads, and utilities.


RADARSAT-2 data is available via the international charter “space and natural disasters”.  This data depicts flooding areas using satellite remote sensing data.

USGS has a very nifty animation showing Matthew’s water footprint as well as many data resources at the bottom.

Water footprint animation from USGS
Water footprint animation.

Rainfall Information

The National Weather Service provides archived rainfall data via their Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE) viewer. Data can also be downloaded at

Qualitative prediction estimates.
Qualitative prediction estimates.

NOAA archived NEXRAD radar data can be downloaded from the National Centers for Environmental Information.

NOAA archived Satellite data can be accessed via the National Centers for Environmental Information.

Storm Surge Information

The NOAA Office for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) provides graphics showing the real-time water level and meteorological observations at NOAA Tide Gauges (National Water Level Observation Network – NWLON) via their archived QuickLook Product.


The USGS provides multiple water level observations via their Flood Event Viewer .  Data includes post-storm observed data such as high water marks as well as real-time sensor data.

The National Hurricane Center provided real-time potential storm surge flooding maps during Matthew for each forecast advisory (starting with advisory 26).   These new operational products ( depict the risk associated with coastal flooding from storm surge associated with tropical cyclones.  NHC also provides GIS data to most of their archived graphical products (track, cone of uncertainty, and more).  Those are available on their GIS page.  In addition, NHC uses the NOAA Geoplatform to provide a seamless national map of worst case storm surge flooding scenarios.

Wave Information

The National Data Buoy Data Center (NDBC)  provides real-time and archived observations data for many NOAA and non-NOAA coastal observations including winds, waves, pressure, and temperature.

The Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) has developed a Hurricane Matthew resources page that links to many observations from a variety of sources.

Coastal Erosion Information

The NOAA National Geodetic Survey collected post-Matthew imagery to assist with national security and emergency response requirements.  The oblique imagery viewer shows post-storm damage to the immediate coastal areas from FL to NC and allows downloads of the imagery in a georectified image (JPG with world file) format.

Screen grab from the NGS emergency response oblique imagery viewer.
Screen grab from the NGS emergency response oblique imagery viewer.

The USGS Coastal Change Hazards Portal provides information and data on probabilities of storm-induced collision, overwash, or inundation for Hurricane Matthew.  In addition, they have developed an experimental application that displays forecast total water levels and coastal change.  Archived data for Matthew exists.

Elevation Information

Lidar data for the Matthew Impact area is provide via NOAA’s Digital Coast Data Access Viewer (the link searches the FL to NC coast).

The U.S. Interagency Elevation Data Inventory is a comprehensive, nationwide listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the United States and its territories. Use this tool to explore available elevation data in the Matthew impact area and view basic information about the data sets such as contact information for obtaining the data.

The USGS National Map (3DEP View) also provides lidar base elevation data in various formats.

The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) provide Digital Elevation Models via their DEM portal.

State Portals

The Georgia Coastal Hazards Portal, developed and maintained by UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography with funding from the GA Coastal Management Program, provides many coastal geospatial layers including hazard vulnerability assessment data and SLR data from NOAA.

SC MyCoast has a Storm Witness:  Hurricane Matthew Page that has photographs of storm damage and flooding in South Carolina.

The South Carolina Office for Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (SCOCRM) maintains the South Carolina Beach Erosion Research & Monitoring (BERM) application that is designed to provide  beachfront communities, researchers and the general public access to topographic and bathymetric data for various beach areas in South Carolina.

The SCDHEC Hurricane Matthew Post-Storm Assessment Photos Storymap provides a selection of photos from the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control beachfront damage assessment flight conducted October 10, 2016

North Carolina maintains the iRISK which allows users to select an individual parcel or building to see the risk associated with multiple hazards.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has a Hurricane Matthew information page with many links to local Florida government resources. The Florida Geoportal provides maps and data for the Florida Emergency Response Team and the FL Division of Emergency Management.

The City of Norfolk, VA has a a free online public map viewer that displays reported events during active storms and/or the historic data.
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) has a storm resources center in addition to other coastal data portals.  

More to Come…..






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