With the beginning of each summer, we brace ourselves for the dreaded hurricane season. This year is no exception.
June 1 marks the hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expects around 12 to 18 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes of Category 3 or higher on the East Coast.
With a 70 percent chance that each of these predictions will occur, this is not a time to let our guards down.
There are several climate factors to lookout for this season. Slightly warmer-than-average Atlantic Ocean as well as continued ocean and atmospheric conditions favorable for hurricane development remain climate factors.
The United States was fortunate last year as winds steered most of the season’s tropical storms and hurricanes away, according to Jane Lubchenoco, Ph.D. and NOAA administrator. NOAA slightly reduced this season’s hurricane predictions due to a combination of recent ocean warming in the eastern and central tropical Pacific in addition to recent cooling in the tropical Atlantic.
Though a “normal” hurricane season is usually comprised of about 11 named storms with about four or five becoming full-fledged hurricanes, experts strongly urge populations in hurricane-prone areas to be prepared as the natural phenomena are somewhat unpredictable. Predictions in the 12-24 hour range are the most accurate, but any preparation during that time period is too late.
As each storm develops, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center forecasts weather patterns, intensity and landfall potential. For more help developing your hurricane safety plan, click on the “Prepare” tab on this website.