Hurricane Season 2013 Highest Risk for USA
The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season starts today , and scientists are warning that it is likely to be a doozy, with more storms than average and more major hurricanes (Category 3 intensity or stronger). Not only are forecasters calling for an unusually active season, they also say that there are signs that the U.S., which hasn’t had a major hurricane in a record seven years, may be particularly vulnerable this year due to a combination of weather and climate factors.
Scientists contacted by Climate Central warned that in part because of the dearth of major hurricanes, there may be a sense of “hurricane amnesia” setting in among coastal residents — a potentially hazardous combination for when the nation’s luck runs out. By Andrew Freedman ( @freedma ) – Climate Central
NOAA predicts active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season
In its 2013 Atlantic hurricane season outlook issued , NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting an active or extremely active season this year. For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. “With the devastation of Sandy fresh in our minds, and another active season predicted, everyone at NOAA is committed to providing life-saving forecasts in the face of these storms and ensuring that Americans are prepared and ready ahead of time.” said Kathryn Sullivan PhD, NOAA acting administrator. “As we saw first-hand with Sandy, it’s important to remember that tropical storm and hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline. Strong winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes often threaten inland areas far from where the storm first makes landfall.” Three climate factors that strongly control Atlantic hurricane activity are expected to come together to produce an active or extremely active 2013 hurricane season. These are:
- A continuation of the atmospheric climate pattern, which includes a strong west African monsoon, that is responsible for the ongoing era of high activity for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995;
- Warmer-than-average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea; and
- El Niño is not expected to develop and suppress hurricane formation.
“This year, oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic basin are expected to produce more and stronger hurricanes,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “These conditions include weaker wind shear, warmer Atlantic waters and conducive winds patterns coming from Africa.” NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook is not a hurricane landfall forecast; it does not predict how many storms will hit land or where a storm will strike. Forecasts for individual storms and their impacts will be provided throughout the season by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.
Source : http://www.noaa.gov
This National Hurricane Preparedness Week. To help those living in hurricane-prone areas prepare, NOAA is offering hurricane preparedness tips, along with video and audio public service announcements in both English and Spanish, featuring NOAA hurricane experts and the FEMA administrator.
WASHINGTON — Seven months after hurricane Sandy ravaged the Atlantic coastline from Maryland to Connecticut, U.S. and Canadian climate scientists are predicting another banner season for the giant storms.
That could be bad news for the residents and business owners of the northeastern seaboard, many of whom are still rebuilding their shattered lives after Sandy killed 42 people and, according to insurers, cost about $65 billion US in destroyed homes and infrastructure.
U.S. officials predict hurricanes in the Atlantic region will range from “active” to “extremely active” this season. Above is an image of then-Superstorm Sandy from last year. Photograph by The Associated Press, Postmedia News
The Canadian Hurricane Centre is also warning the Atlantic provinces of major hurricane activity this season, primarily because of warmer ocean waters.
This year’s hurricane season, which begins June 1 and which is expected to last at least six months, will again be above normal, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s hurricane center.
NOAA predicts hurricanes in the Atlantic region will range from “active” to “extremely active.” Scientists said there is a 70 per cent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms, of which seven to 11 could become hurricanes, with winds of 119 kilometres an hour or higher, and three to six major hurricanes (178 km/h or higher).
These numbers are well above the 1981-2010 seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes for the Atlantic.
During the 2012 storm season, the number of named storms in the Atlantic region was higher than average but the intensity was lower. There were 19 named storms of which 10 became hurricanes. Only one — hurricane Michael in September — was classified as major. Sandy was just shy of the “major” category with winds up to 177 km/h.
NOAA says it does not make predictions of whether any of these hurricanes will reach landfall because the path of hurricanes depends on daily weather patterns, which cannot be predicted months or weeks in advance.
Scientists said the same atmospheric conditions are at play that have produced increased Atlantic hurricane activity since 1995. These include a strong West African monsoon, warmer tropical Atlantic and Caribbean waters, lower air pressure and reduced wind shear.
As usual, the storms will incubate just above the equator off the west coast of Africa and travel westward toward the Caribbean before turning north.
NOAA acting administrator Kathryn Sullivan warned that tropical storm and hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline.
“Strong winds, torrential rain, flooding and tornadoes often threaten inland areas far from where the storm first makes landfall,” she said.
Joe Nimmich, associate administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, warned Americans to prepare themselves for a difficult season.
“Preparedness today can make a big difference down the line, so update your family emergency plan and make sure your emergency kit is stocked,” he said in a statement.
By William Marsden, Postmedia News May 24, 2013
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