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Wednesday, 29 May 2019 20:47

Are You Ready for the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season?

Ohio was hit by tornadoes in mid-May. New Jersey was under tornado watches at the end of May. After 376 consecutive weeks (more than seven years), the California drought has officially ended. Earlier in the year, Governors declared states of emergency in Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, and North Dakota, and thousands of flights were canceled or delayed due to extreme weather in the midwest that caused devasting floods in the region.

Here at home, New England experienced the rainiest spring on record. And now we have to think about the Atlantic hurricane season? The natural question is, what’s in store of us here in New England?


It's Atlantic Hurricane Season. Are You Ready?

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1st and ends November 30th. And now is the time to prepare.

Hurricane Facts

  • Hurricanes can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
  • They can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.
  • About 97% of the tropical activity in the Atlantic happens between June 1 and November 30, according to the National Hurricane Center.
  • Most storms take place during the peak of the season, August through October, when the Atlantic Ocean is warmest.
  • 2018 was the third in a consecutive series of above-average and damaging Atlantic hurricane seasons, featuring 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes*. (Source: Wikipedia)
  • On average, 10.1 named storms occur each season, with an average of 5.9 becoming hurricanes and 2.5 becoming major hurricanes (Category 3 or greater)*. 
  • The most active season was 2005, during which 28 tropical cyclones formed, of which a record 15 became hurricanes*.
  • The least active season was 1914, with only one known tropical cyclone developing during that year*.
  • Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms have been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. They are now maintained and updated through a strict procedure by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season officially concluded on November 30th. This GOES East satellite imagery from NOAASatellites shows the entire six-month season from start to end, condensed into one minute.



2019 Atlantic Storm Names

There are 19 named storms for the 2019 hurricane season. The first named storm, Andrea, formed on May 19th, an early start for a named storm. Meteorologists say it’s the right combination of atmospheric conditions and warmer ocean waters that help to form a storm. Last year, the first hurricane of 2018 didn't form until early July.

Image result for 2019 hurricane names


Long-range Hurricane Forecast for 2019

According to the National Weather Service, there's a forty percent chance that hurricane season will be near normal with a 30 percent chance + / - for above or below the normal number of storms.


How Hurricanes Form

Hurricanes are the most powerful storms known to man. There are many factors that create this violent storm season: Warm ocean water plus the Earth’s eastward rotation.“They’re heat engines,” said meteorologist Jeff Masters of the website Weather Underground in an interview with National Geographic. “They take heat from the oceans and convert it to the energy of their winds. They’re taking thermal energy and making mechanical energy out of it.”

Watch this National Geographic to learn more about how a hurricane forms.


Why Are Hurricanes Dangerous?

Hurricanes are categorized based on their wind speeds, but wind isn’t typically the most dangerous part of such storms. “It’s the storm surge,” said Kerry Emanuel, an atmospheric scientist at MIT.  A storm surge is water that is pushed onto shore by a hurricane. It’s the number one killer in hurricanes, Emanuel explained. “That’s what killed people in Katrina, it’s what killed people in Sandy and in Haiyan.” Emanuel likened a storm surge to a tsunami. One is caused by earthquakes (tsunamis), while the other is generated by hurricanes. Flash flooding caused by intense rains is also a major killer, Emanuel said. “Hurricane Mitch [in 1998] killed 12,000 people and it was all from flash flooding.”

How to Prepare for a Hurricane

Being prepared is your best defense against a damaging storm. Here’s how you can prepare.

The following checklist features tips from the  American Red Cross, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the National Hurricane Center. For best use, download the PDF -- it includes links to more details and resources.

Hurricane Checklist

More Hurricane Resources

It's always best to be prepared in advance. as an extensive list of steps to take when a hurricane warning is issued as well as at different stages of development.

Be Prepared. Be Safe.

Bad and crazy weather happens. It's how we prepare for it that can make the difference. While we may experience damage to our homes and property, our own safety is the top priority. Regardless of the time of year and the time of a storm, please be prepared, be safe.

 Sources for this post include: *Wikipedia, CNN, National Weather Service, National Geographic

Read 3581 times Last modified on Monday, 03 June 2019 14:42

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