June 1 is the start of hurricane season, and this year’s season is expected to be ‘above average’ in intensity, according to NOAA’s outlook.
NOAA says you should expect for an “above average” hurricane season on 2017, based on the agency’s initial outlook released last week.
Among the outlook’s predictions for this year:
- There will likely be between 11 and 17 named storms.
- Between five and nine of the named storms will become hurricanes.
- Between two and four of the hurricanes will become major hurricanes.
A name is assigned once a system strengthens into a tropical storm, which has maximum sustained winds of 39 mph or higher.
To become a hurricane, the storm must reach maximum sustained winds of 79 mph or greater…… a Category 1 storm.
A hurricane is considered a “major hurricane” once it reaches Category 3, 4 or 5 strength. A Category 3 has winds of 111 mph or higher.
It’s worth noting that these predictions do include Hurricane Arlene, a rare storm that formed back in April and, fortunately, means there’s one less hurricane that must exist to satisfy the forecast.
Here’s the full list of 2017 Atlantic storm names:
ACTIVE SEASON PREDICTED
These 2 factors point towards an active season:
1) a weak or non-existent EL Nino:
An active El Nino season creates wind shear that tears apart the storms as they develop. Without this shear, storms have a better chance of developing into hurricanes.
By the way: El Niñothe Spanish name for the male child, initially referred to a weak, warm current appearing annually around Christmas time along the coast of Ecuador and Peru and lasting only a few weeks to a month or more.
2) Warmer than normal water:
Warm ocean surface temperatures feed energy into the bottom of a developing system; the warmer the water, the more fuel for the storm.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs through Nov. 30. The peak occurs when the Northern Atlantic is at its warmest – around mid-September; statistically that is the most common time for a hurricane to occur.
It is very important to remind ourselves that there is no apparent correlation between the number of named storms and their intensity. Also, an expected above-average forecast for the hurricane season does not specify whether these storms will make landfall.
TIPS TO WEATHER OUT THE STORM
|Unplug your appliances and power cords from outlets to protect them from power surges
||Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass
||If flood waters reached the level of electrical outlets, contact a licensed electrician before attempting to use electricity in the home
|If you plan to use a portable generator, ESFI recommends a licensed electrician install it to ensure it will operate safely
||Use flashlights as a source of light. Candles are a fire hazard
||Prior to use, have a qualified service repair dealer determine what electrical equipment should be replaced and what can be reconditioned
|Test your home’s carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms to ensure they’re functioning
||Never operate a generator inside your home or in other enclosed or partially enclosed spaces, including garage
||Never touch a fallen power line or drive through standing water if a downed power line is nearby. Report downed power lines to local authorities
||Use a battery operated radio to stay informed about important safety update
! HAVE A PLAN !
VISIT THIS WEBSITE FOR COMPREHENSICE INFORMATION TO HELP YPOU PREPARE FOR HURRICNAE SEASON:
Below is another FEMA site with lots of information also available to help individuals and communities prepare:
Let’s hope for a pleasant and uneventful summer!
Stephen M. Taylor
City of Homestead