Hurricane Season

Hurricane Season

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a hurricane as “an intense tropical weather system with a well-defined circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.”

Be prepared – have a plan!

For assistance with making an emergency plan read more here »
. 1) FEMA Ready
. 2) American Red Cross Disaster and Safety Library
. 3) ReadyNC
. 4) Town Emergency Information
. 5) HBPOIN Hurricane Emergency Plan

THB – EVACUATION, CURFEW & VEHICLE DECALS
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If the Town declares a mandatory evacuation, PLEASE LEAVE
General Assembly during the 2012 Session, specifically authorizes both voluntary and mandatory evacuations, and increases the penalty for violating any local emergency restriction or prohibition from a Class 3 to a Class 2 misdemeanor. Given the broad authority granted to the governor and city and county officials under the North Carolina Emergency Management Act (G.S. Chapter 166A) to take measures necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare during a disaster, it is reasonable to interpret the authority to “direct and compel” evacuations to mean ordering “mandatory” evacuations. Those who choose to not comply with official warnings to get out of harm’s way, or are unable to, should prepare themselves to be fully self-sufficient for the first 72 hours after the storm.

No matter what a storm outlook is for a given year,

vigilance and preparedness is urged.


Hurricane Season’s Around the Corner. Here’s What to Expect.
This year’s hurricane season should be normal or slightly more active than average, government forecasters said on Thursday. After the exceptionally destructive season last year, the prediction might seem like a reprieve of sorts. But a season with few storms can do tremendous damage if a single storm makes landfall. Hurricane season runs from June 1 until Nov. 1 and peaks from mid-August through late October. “We’re not expecting the season to be one of the most active on record,” said Gerry Bell, lead hurricane season forecaster with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. But, he said, “It’s time to start getting prepared.”
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NOAA predicts 10-16 named storms for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season
This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an average number of major storms

Last year’s Atlantic hurricane season saw plenty of named storms and several destructive ones. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) this year’s season is predicted to be near or above-normal with 10-16 named storms. “NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes,” according to a NOAA press release. The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season is driven by several factors, including El Niño and sea-surface temperatures. “With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way is unprecedented,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts,” according to the release.
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Forecasters predict a near- or above-normal 2018 Atlantic hurricane season
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a 75-percent chance that the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season will be near- or above-normal.

Forecasters predict a 35 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season for the upcoming hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to November 30. “With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way is unprecedented,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts.” NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70-percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.   The possibility of a weak El Nino developing, along with near-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, are two of the factors driving this outlook. These factors are set upon a backdrop of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development and have been producing stronger Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995. “NOAA’s observational and modeling enhancements for the 2018 season put us on the path to deliver the world’s best regional and global weather models,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction. “These upgrades are key to improving hurricane track and intensity forecasts, allowing NOAA to deliver the best science and service to the nation.” NOAA’s suite of sophisticated technologies – from next-generation models and satellite data to new and improved forecast and graphical products – enable decision makers and the general public to take action before, during, and after hurricanes, helping to build a more “Weather-Ready Nation.” “Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector and the public,” said acting FEMA Deputy Administrator Daniel Kaniewski. “It only takes one storm to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare. Do you have adequate insurance, including flood insurance? Does your family have a communication and evacuation plan? Stay tuned to your local news and download the FEMA app to get alerts, and make sure you heed any warnings issued by local officials.” NOAA will update the 2018 Atlantic seasonal outlook in early August, just prior to the peak of the season.
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NOAA promotes preparedness as 2018 hurricane season begins June 1
A named storm formed before the beginning of the hurricane season for a fourth consecutive year.

Subtropical Storm Alberto made landfall near Laguna Beach, according to the NWS National Hurricane Center in Miami. By Tuesday afternoon it was downgraded to a subtropical depression as it moved through central Alabama.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season isn’t expected to be as active as last year’s, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “We do not expect an extremely active (hurricane season) like last year,” Dr. Jerry Bell, NOAA’s lead seasonal hurricane forecaster, said during a May 24 news conference. “But an active season means a lot of storms could form in the Atlantic (Ocean).” An average season produces 12 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

“Regardless of the prediction, the Atlantic region needs to prepare for hurricane season. A hurricane can strike in any season, whether it is active like in 2017 or not,” he said. Bell said while they can make predictions of hurricane activity, they can’t predict where hurricanes will land — and they don’t just impact coastal communities. About 80 million people between the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico coastline face the threat of hurricanes, with inland flooding causing significant damage in recent years. “While we can’t prevent hurricanes, we can take action to better prevent their impact on communities,” Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction, said during the forecast presentation. Throughout the presentation, speakers emphasized residents in the Atlantic hurricane coverage area should prepare every year as if they will be impacted by a tropical storm or hurricane. “Prepare now, before hurricane season by making emergency and evacuation plans for your families” so family members know how to react even if they might not be together when a disaster strikes, Jacobs said. Jacobs added while technology allows the NOAA to project a narrower tracking cone for a hurricane’s projected path each year, the hazards caused by wind and water create dangerous circumstances outside the cone, too.
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No matter what a storm outlook is for a given year,

vigilance and preparedness is urged.

 NOAA: $24 billion in damage from Florence, 9th most destructive in U.S. history
The National Hurricane Center has released its final report on Hurricane Florence. The report states Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wrightsville Beach as a high category 1 hurricane with winds of 80 knots (about 92 mph). The storm resulted in 52 deaths in the Carolinas and Virginia. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) estimates the damage caused by Florence cost around $24 billion. This makes Florence the ninth-most-destructive hurricane to hit the United States. In North Carolina alone, damaged flooding totaled $22 billion, leaving 30 dead from direct, flooding or wind impacts. All of the freshwater deaths involved motor vehicles. The wind-related deaths were caused by falling trees. In New Hanover County, a tree fell on a home and killed a mother and her son during the storm. North Carolina’s agriculture industry lost about $20 million, consisting of forestry, fishery, damage to farm buildings, equipment, and infrastructure. Field crops, especially tobacco, soybeans, sweet potatoes, corn, and cotton, accounted for most of the state’s agricultural losses. Hurricane Florence caused the worst flooding in local history in Pender County. In just two days during the storm, there were 350 rescues due to closed roads and inundated neighborhoods. Overall, over 1,000 people were rescued and there were 3,882 flood-damaged structures across the county. Approximately 1.1 million people lost power due to Florence’s effects in both North and South Carolina. To view the final Hurricane Florence report, click here.
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Above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year
Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year. For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.
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Hurricane preparedness week: 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season 2019 is almost here, prepare before the storm
Hurricane Florence’s effects can still be seen around the region but the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season is right around the corner — now is the time to prepare.

The impact of Hurricane Florence will be felt in the Cape Fear region for months to come and it might even take years before the region is restored to pre-Florence conditions, but that doesn’t stop the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season from bearing down upon us. That’s why the National Weather Service is promoting this week as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. According to initial hurricane predictions from The Weather Company, the 2019 season is expected to be slightly above average with a total of 14 named storms predicted, seven of which are expected to be hurricanes. According to the National Weather Service, “Hurricanes are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. On average, 12 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year.” Recently, the National Weather Service in Wilmington’s Steve Pfaff spoke to residents in Carolina Beach. He encouraged residents to be prepared and not let their guards down simply because Florence made landfall — every year people should be prepared for a storm, regardless of past experiences.

Prepare

The NWS offers several tips to prepare ahead of hurricane season including:

  • Know your zone: Do you live near the Gulf or Atlantic Coasts? Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation area by contacting your local government/emergency management office or by checking the evacuation site website.
  • Put together an emergency kit: Put together a basic emergency. Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters.
  • Write or review your family emergency plan: Before an emergency happens, sit down with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of this plan in your emergency supplies kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster. Start at the ready.gov emergency plan webpage.
  • Review your insurance policies: Review your insurance policies to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home and personal property.
  • Understand NWS forecast products, especially the meaning of NWS watches and warnings.
  • Preparation tips for your home from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
  • Preparation tips for those with Chronic Illnesses
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So why do we have a hurricane season?
About 97% of the tropical activity in the Atlantic happens between June 1 and November 30, the National Hurricane Center said. This includes the majority of tropical storms and minor and major hurricanes that have taken place from August through October — the season’s peak.

NOAA predicts near-normal 2019 Atlantic hurricane season
El Nino and warmer-than-average Atlantic help shape this season’s intensity

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year. This outlook forecasts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season. The hurricane season officially extends from June 1 to November 30.

For 2019, NOAA predicts a likely range of 9 to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.

“With the 2019 hurricane season upon us, NOAA is leveraging cutting-edge tools to help secure Americans against the threat posed by hurricanes and tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Pacific,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Throughout hurricane season, dedicated NOAA staff will remain on alert for any danger to American lives and communities.”

This outlook reflects competing climate factors. The ongoing El Nino is expected to persist and suppress the intensity of the hurricane season. Countering El Nino is the expected combination of warmer-than-average sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and an enhanced west African monsoon, both of which favor increased hurricane activity.

“New satellite data and other upgrades to products and services from NOAA enable a more Weather-Ready Nation by providing the public and decision makers with the information needed to take action before, during, and after a hurricane,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator.

The 2019 hurricane season marks the first time NOAA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites includes three operational next-generation satellites. Unique and valuable data from these satellites feed the hurricane forecast models used by forecasters to help users make critical decisions days in advance

NOAA’s National Weather Service is making a planned upgrade to its Global Forecast System (GFS) flagship weather model – often called the American model – early in the 2019 hurricane season. This marks the first major upgrade to the dynamical core of the model in almost 40 years and will improve tropical cyclone track and intensity forecasts. “NOAA is driving towards a community-based development program for future weather and climate modeling to deliver the very best forecasts, by leveraging new investments in research and working with the weather enterprise,” added Jacobs.

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and NWS office in San Juan will expand the coastal storm surge watches and warnings in 2019 to include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, NHC will display excessive rainfall outlooks on its website, providing greater visibility of one of the most dangerous inland threats from hurricanes.

Also, this season, NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft will collect higher-resolution data from upgraded onboard radar systems. These enhanced observations will be transmitted in near-real time to hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and forecasters at NWS Weather Forecast Offices.

In addition to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. A 70% chance of an above-normal season is predicted for both the eastern and central Pacific regions. The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70% probability of 15 to 22 named storms, of which 8 to 13 are expected to become hurricanes, including 4 to 8 major hurricanes. The central Pacific outlook calls for a 70% probability of 5 to 8 tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.

NOAA’s outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Hurricane preparedness is critically important for the 2019 hurricane season, just as it is every year. Visit the National Hurricane Center’s website at hurricanes.gov throughout the season to stay current on any watches and warnings.

“Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector, and the public,” said Daniel Kaniewski, Ph.D., FEMA deputy administrator for resilience. “It only takes one event to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare. Do you have cash on hand? Do you have adequate insurance, including flood insurance? Does your family have communication and evacuation plans? Stay tuned to your local news and download the FEMA app to get alerts, and make sure you heed any warnings issued by local officials.”  

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2019 Atlantic seasonal outlook in August just prior to the historical peak of the season.
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NOAA 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook
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A Software Upgrade (After 40 Years) Aims to Improve U.S. Weather Forecasts
Aiming to reduce errors like the one it made in 2012, when it wrongly forecast the track of Hurricane Sandy into the New York area, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday introduced a major upgrade to the software at the heart of its weather prediction capability. Using huge amounts of computing power, the software, known as the Global Forecast System, or G.F.S., models the physics of global weather, taking data from satellites and sensors to produce predictions of conditions in coming hours and days. Meteorologists around the world rely on it for making forecasts. NOAA said the upgrade to the core of the system — the first in four decades — should help improve predictions of severe weather, including winter storms and hurricanes and other tropical storms. The G.F.S. model had come under criticism in recent years, with researchers and meteorologists saying it was less accurate than similar models from other governments and institutions — most notably one produced by the European Center for Medium-Range Forecasts, which, along with G.F.S., is the most widely used worldwide. To critics, the deficiencies in the G.F.S. model were especially apparent during Sandy, which inundated the New York area in 2012, causing 44 deaths and $19 billion in damage in New York City alone. Early on as the storm, which was then a hurricane, moved northward, the European model accurately forecast how it would intensify, shift westward and strike the coast. For days, the G.F.S. model forecast that Sandy would head harmlessly out to sea. Brian Gross, director of NOAA’s Environmental Modeling Center, said in a teleconference that the G.F.S. upgrade had been tested for a year, running models based on data from past warm and cold seasons and comparing the results with what occurred in the real world. “We are confident the upgrade will provide an overall improvement,” Dr. Gross said. Specifically, he added, it should help produce more accurate forecasts of temperature and the amount of rain and snow. Among other improvements, he said, the new model should more accurately reflect changes that occur between daytime and nighttime. As for hurricanes, he said, the upgrade should help improve forecasts both of a storm’s track and its intensity. The upgrade is part of a series of improvements that were undertaken after Sandy. In addition to improving the software, more computing power was added. The European model also had the advantage of vastly greater number-crunching capacity.
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A More Active Hurricane Season Could Lie Ahead, Scientists Warn
Federal weather researchers expect hurricane activity to be greater than normal for the rest of this year’s season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. The new analysis suggests that an above-average season is substantially more likely than the agency first predicted in May. NOAA now expects up to 17 named storms before the season ends on Nov. 30, with as many as four of those becoming major storms with winds of 111 miles per hour or more. The forecasters initially suggested a season with a normal level of hurricane activity, with 12 named storms and three major hurricanes. They based that forecast on the continued presence of an El Niño, the Pacific Ocean heating pattern that tends to suppress hurricane activity, and the likelihood that it might persist into October. But NOAA issued an updated El Niño report on Thursday stating that conditions had returned to a neutral status, which will eventually allow hurricane formation to ramp up. The forecasters at NOAA’s climate prediction center thus raised the likelihood of an above-normal season in the Atlantic to 45 percent, up from 30 percent in the May forecast. The chances of a below-normal season have dropped to just 20 percent.
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