NOAA Raises Hurricane Season Prediction – Are You Prepared?

Posted 4:41 p.m.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season got off to a busy start, with six named storms to date, and there may be a busy second half, according to the updated hurricane season outlook issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service.

Satellite Image of Hurricane Ernesto, Aug. 7, 2012

Satellite image of Hurricane Ernesto taken on Aug. 7, 2012 in the Gulf of Mexico.
(Credit: NOAA)

The updated outlook still indicates a 50 percent chance of a near-normal season, but increases the chance of an above-normal season to 35 percent and decreases the chance of a below-normal season to only 15 percent from the initial outlook issued in May.

Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the season – June 1 to Nov. 30 – NOAA’s updated seasonal outlook projects a total (which includes the activity-to-date of tropical storms Alberto, Beryl, Debbie, Florence and hurricanes Chris and Ernesto) of:

  • 12 to 17 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 5 to 8 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 2 to 3 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

How Can You Prepare?

There are several simple steps you can take now to be better prepared for a hurricane.

  • Make sure your that your emergency supply kit is fully stocked with supplies for at least three days per family member.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.

You’ll also want to make a family emergency plan, choose an out-of-town contact for you and your family to call in the event of an emergency. And don’t forget to sign up for emergency alerts from the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN).

More helpful tips about what to do before, during and after a hurricane can be found at Ready.gov as well as www.ReadyVirginia.gov (www.ListoVirginia.gov – Spanish).

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