HURRICANE SEASON

It’s that time of year again.  It’s hurricane season.  If you live on the gulf coast or along the Atlantic coast, this blog is for you.  I guess I can’t forget about the extreme southwest Pacific coast, as you too get tropical systems at times (even though June 1st is the start of the Atlantic hurricane season).

As you may or may not know, hurricane season runs from June 1 – November 30.  That is half a year (6 months), for those of you who don’t want to do the math.  This is a very broad time, and it is very easy to forget that the season is still going on after a while.  Last minute preparations are NEVER a good thing.  If you do not have hurricane insurance for your house, now is the time to do it because once a hurricane does form in the Gulf of Mexico or Atlantic, some, if not most, of all insurance companies will not sell you the insurance.  Also, it is always a good thing to stock up on non-perishable food items, batteries, weather radios, flash lights, and water right now just in case a tropical system does strike your area.  It’s always wise to be safe than sorry.

Forecasting

Each spring, NOAA and Colorado State University issue out their hurricane predictions on how many named storms, how many hurricanes, and how many major hurricanes.  Below are their predictions for this year (2011).

Figure 1. Hurricane Predictions for 2011. Major hurricanes are considered Category 3+

There are many calculations that both of these organizations do in order to come up with these numbers, so it’s not just a random guess.

My predictions would be:

Named Storms: 15-18
Hurricanes: 6-9,
Major Hurricanes: 4-5 

*These predictions are solely based on a 2000-2010, 10 yr average.*

Conclusion:

No matter where you live, you should always have a plan in case of a natural disaster, but forecasting hurricanes is not like forecasting tornadoes or earthquakes.  Unlike tornadoes and earthquakes, you are given ample time to prepare for hurricanes, as far out as a week or so.  Please do not wait until the last minute to prepare!

Please visit the National Hurricane Center’s website for up to the minute tropical cyclone activity:  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

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About Brian

University of Oklahoma graduate with a degree in Meteorology. Follow me on Twitter: @WeatherInformer
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