15 June 2016

2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season, NOAA Outlook, Preparedness (videos)

NOAA's 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

Dr. Gerry Bell of NOAA discusses the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook (published May 27, 2016). Learn more about how to prepare for the 2016 hurricane season, and monitor hurricane forecasts throughout the season, from June 1 through November 30:

"NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, will most likely be near-normal, but forecast uncertainty in the climate signals that influence the formation of Atlantic storms make predicting this season particularly difficult.

"NOAA predicts a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). While a near-normal season is most likely with a 45 percent chance, there is also a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season. Included in today’s outlook is Hurricane Alex, a pre-season storm that formed over the far eastern Atlantic in January.

“This is a more challenging hurricane season outlook than most because it’s difficult to determine whether there will be reinforcing or competing climate influences on tropical storm development,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. "However, a near-normal prediction for this season suggests we could see more hurricane activity than we’ve seen in the last three years, which were below normal.” Read more here.

Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale and Storms Index:
  • Five  ≥137 knots, ≥157 mph, ≥252 km/h
  • Four  113–136 knots, 130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h
  • Three  96–112 knots, 111–129 mph, 178–208 km/h
  • Two  83–95 knots, 96–110 mph, 154–177 km/h
  • One  64–82 knots, 74–95 mph, 119–153 km/h
  • Tropical storm  34–63 knots, 39–73 mph, 63–118 km/h
  • Tropical depression  ≤33 knots, ≤38 mph, ≤62 km/h
West Marine video: Preparing Your Boat for a Hurricane

For more info: http://www.westmarine.com/hurricane-prep-page

BoatUS Hurricane Tracking & Resource Center:
Hurricane Preparedness, General Information:
Here are a few tips to help prepare for the 2016 hurricane season, which officially began June 1 and ends November 30:
  • Know your area and the evacuation routes. In Florida, they are available on the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s Website.
  • Have a plan to prepare your home and/or business with storm shutters or plywood. Bring items that could be picked up by the wind and break windows - like lawn furniture, toys, or trash cans - inside.
  • Make sure you know where your home’s safe room is located. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) website details what a safe room should look like.
  • Keep your automobile fully fueled; if electric power is cut off, gas stations may not be able to operate pumps for several days.
  • Be prepared to survive on your own for a few days. Assemble a disaster kit with a battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, clothing, food, water, and prescription medications and needed medical supplies. The Florida Division of Emergency Management points you to a good list of items to have ready.
  • Know how to shut off utilities. Know where gas pilots are located and how the heating and air-conditioning system works. If you have any questions, contact your local utility company.
  • Gather your personal documents - insurance policy information, emergency contact information, and any other vital documents - somewhere they can be easily located and ready to take with you should you have to evacuate your home.

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