Above Normal Hurricane Season Predicted

In a press release issued on May 23, 2024, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center, predict above normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin. They predict an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season and a 5% chance of a below-normal season.

NOAA is forecasting a range of 17 to 25 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 8 to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 4 to 7 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). Forecasters have a 70% confidence in these ranges.

The above-normal activity is due to a confluence of factors, including near-record warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, development of La Nina conditions in the Pacific, reduced Atlantic trade winds and less wind shear, all of which tend to favor tropical storm formation.

The season begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th so be prepared.

The following are recommendations from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on being prepared for hurricane season.

Make an Emergency Plan

Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plans

Know your Evacuation Zone
You may have to evacuate quickly due to a hurricane if you live in an evacuation zone. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with your household and pets, and identify where you will stay.

Follow the instructions from local emergency managers. They will provide the latest recommendations based on the threat to your community and appropriate safety measures.

Recognize Warnings and Alerts
Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service. Sign up for community alerts in your area and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA), which require no sign up.

Review Important Documents
Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents, such as ID, are up to date. Make copies and keep them in a secure password-protected digital space.

Strengthen your Home
De-clutter drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture, and consider hurricane shutters.

Get Tech Ready
Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.

Help your Neighborhood
Check with neighbors, senior adults, or those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others

Gather Supplies
Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies and pet supplies in your go bag or car trunk. You may not have access to these supplies for days or even weeks after a hurricane.

Water (one gallon per person per day for several days, for drinking and sanitation)
Food (at least a several-day supply of non-perishable food)
Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
Flashlight
First aid kit
Extra batteries
Whistle (to signal for help)
Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
Manual can opener (for food)
Local maps
Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

NOAA reminds us that “hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. impacts from wind and water can be felt hundreds of miles inland, and significant impacts can occur regardless of the storm’s strength.”

Photo courtesy of NOAA

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