As you read this article we are now at the midpoint of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. So far the season has been peaceful, but regardless of how many storms develop this year, just one can disrupt thousands of lives in your area. Knowing your evacuation route, paying attention to alerts and, finally, listening and heeding announcements from local authorities as a storm approaches is the smart thing to do.
The 2016 season was the most active since 2012, with 15 named storms, including 7 hurricanes and 4 major hurricanes. For the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters have predicted 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. An average season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. These numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April.
Strong El Ninos and wind shear typically suppress development of Atlantic hurricanes, so the prediction for weak conditions points to more hurricane activity this year. Also, warmer sea surface temperatures tend to fuel hurricanes as they move across the ocean. However, the climate models are showing considerable uncertainty, which is reflected in the comparable probabilities for an above-normal and near-normal season. Reliable predictions and thorough preparations are critical as a hurricane approaches, but they can’t really diminish the devastation a severe storm can cause. In the aftermath of a hurricane or any major disaster that may cause catastrophic loss, Paul Davis professionals are available 24/7 to provide emergency restoration services to get everything cleaned up, repaired, and back to normal. With so much at stake, This is no time for second best™.
Now Better Satellite Science
This year the new GOES-16 satellite of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) gives hurricane forecasters a sneak peek at its greater image resolution, sharp detail and rapid-refresh rate. One of the powerful instruments aboard GOES-16, the lightning mapper, will allow forecasters to see lightning strikes that build within tropical cyclones – a possible signal of strengthening. The combination of two high-resolution hurricane models will improve forecast guidance for the National Hurricane Center this season.