The official start to the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season is tomorrow, June 1. However, technically the season has already begun. This is because of tropical storm Arlene that formed in the central Atlantic a while back.
It’s been a while for us. A lot of things have changed since our last direct impact from a storm. In fact, it’s been 12 years.
Most of the country has been in a hurricane drought as well, and more-so a major hurricane drought (category 3 or above).
It’s hard to think that superstorm Sandy happened five years ago. Florida broke their drought last year with Hurricane Hermine, and Hurricane Matthew stayed off the Florida coast, but did eventually make landfall in South Carolina as a category 1.
Thankfully, it did not make landfall as a major hurricane as it made its way up the Florida coast.
New Tools to look out for:
We are all familiar with the National Hurricane Center’s hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings.
If you aren’t familiar, make sure you read up on them here. Two tools that will be utilized this year includes new storm surge watches and warnings.
While hurricanes are rated on a wind scale, the most dangerous part of a hurricane is actually the water.
This includes storm surge being the deadliest being responsible for half of all direct hurricane deaths and flooding from rain that accounts for about a third of deaths.
Building on this there are surge inundation maps that will estimate how high the water will get. The second new tool is the ability to warn or issue watches on a system that hasn’t even formed yet. If we are expected a storm to form and receive a name, the National Hurricane Center can issue warnings for the system.
So, those above are the operational tools, but the National Hurricane Center will also be using wind fields as experimental products, so you might see these as well. This map will show you when you can expect tropical force winds with the extent of possible winds.
For the latest on this and the other tools above click here.
Also, make sure you watch our hurricane special Hurricane Simple Safety for the latest tips and things to consider as we move into this Hurricane Season. Link.