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June 1, 2017
The Atlantic hurricane season begins each year on June 1 and ends on November 30. The forecasts for this season are still changing with earlier forecast calling for a quieter season, while more recent forecasts are suggesting a more active season. The average number of named storms each season is 12, 6 of those becoming hurricanes and 3 of those strengthening to major or category 3 hurricanes with winds over 111mph. Having said that, it is important to remember that it only takes one storm to cause major damage and disrupt our lives. Do you remember Hurricane Andrew in 1992? That was a slow season that only produced 7 named storms, but Andrew was the first and deadliest as it slammed into south Florida with winds in excess of 165 mph and caused over $26 billion in damage. We may be lucky and never see an Andrew type storm in our area in our lifetime, but must be prepared for one just in case.
One of the reasons that forecasts are beginning to change is the possible development of El Nino. Initially it looked like it would form this summer, but now that may not happen. El Nino is the warming of the equatorial waters in the Pacific Ocean just west of South America. When present, it can cause wind shear over the Atlantic and that shear makes it difficult for storms to form. With a more neutral look, the seasonal forecast numbers may rise.
Because of the uncertainty of what Mother Nature may bring, we at 10 News want to help get you prepared and keep you informed. We will track the tropics and alert you to any developments. What YOU can do is HAVE A PLAN. Know where you would go if you were asked to evacuate. Know what you would take with you, your families’ needs, your medical needs and your work responsibilities. What are you going to need to keep those kiddos occupied? Make that plan now while the tropics are quiet and you have time to make a kit, prep the house and inform your family.
Read: Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday This Weekend (tax holiday in effect June 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 2, 2017, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, 2017)
I’ve tracked hurricanes for years now and I know what it’s like to be nervous as storms approach our area. This season, trust us to guide you through the storm and help you protect your family and property. Have a plan, but don’t panic. Stick with 10 News on air, online, through our app and in the newspaper. Here’s to a quiet and safe 2017 hurricane season!
Meteorologist Bobby Deskins, 10 News WTSP
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