Weather forecasters are now predicting that hurricane activity in the Atlantic will be more active than normal this year. Hurricane season began June 1 and ends November 30. Experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) say there is a 70 percent chance that we can expect to see 11-17 named storms with five to nine hurricanes and two to four major hurricanes.
“The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Here are a few things you can do to make sure you and your family are prepared for this year’s hurricane season.
- Check out NOAA’s new forecast and communication tools. In addition to the advisories, watches and warnings that were issued previously, NOAA will also issue watches and warnings for storm surges. NOAA’s hurricane track cone graphic will also now allow the public to see how far high winds might reach outside of the cone of the hurricane or tropical storm.
- Visit Ready.gov for helpful information and lists on how to be prepared for hurricanes. You can learn how to create a disaster supply kit and what it should include, how to create a communications plan for your family members to be able to reach each other in the event of an emergency, signing up for emergency notifications, how to make sure your property is as secure from damage as possible and more.
- Check in with your insurance company and make sure you have enough coverage on your policies to make repairs to or even replace your home in the event of an emergency. They can also help ensure you’re not overpaying and provide information on flood coverage, as most regular homeowners insurance policies do not cover flooding.
- Follow the social media accounts of organizations such as NOAA, The Weather Channel, Ready.gov, and more, so you can get updates on the go from your mobile device. Here are a few to follow:
– NOAA Headquarters
– National Weather Service
– National Weather Service Hurricane Center
– National Weather Service Storm Center
– Additional NOAA Social Media Accounts
– The Weather Channel Hurricane Central
– Jim Cantore, Broadcast Meteorologist
– National Hurricane Center
– The Weather Channel
– American Red Cross
– NASA Hurricane