SOUTHEAST N.C. — This year is shaping up to be one of the most memorable in recent history, though not for positive reasons. And, as if current events were not enough, today is the official start to the Atlantic Hurricane Season for 2020 — and it’s expected to be an active one.
Although the official start date to the season starts June 1, 2020 has already seen two named storms before the start date.
This year the Weather Company, along with two other national forecasters, are predicting a higher than average number of storms with 16 to 18 storms predicted.
From 1981 — 2010, the average number of named storms in the Atlantic basin has been 13; last year there was a total of 18 named storms, four of which were category 3 or higher.
“The TSR (Tropical Storm Risk) April forecast update for North Atlantic hurricane activity in 2020 anticipates a season with likely above-norm activity. Based on current and projected climate signals, Atlantic basin tropical cyclone activity is forecast to be 25% above the 1950-2019 long-term norm and 5-10% above the recent 2010-2019 10-year norm. The forecast spans the period from 1st June to 30th November 2020 and employs data through to the end of March 2020,” according to TSR.
The higher than average number of storms can be attributed to several factors including warmer ocean temperatures and weak La Niña conditions.
The National Weather Service offers several tips to prepare ahead of hurricane season including:
- Know your zone: Do you live near the Gulf or Atlantic Coasts? Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation area by contacting your local government/emergency management office or by checking the evacuation site website.
- Put together an emergency kit: Put together a basic emergency. Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters.
- Write or review your family emergency plan: Before an emergency happens, sit down with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go, and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of this plan in your emergency supplies kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster. Start at the ready.gov emergency plan webpage.
- Review your insurance policies: Review your insurance policies to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home and personal property.
- Understand NWS forecast products, especially the meaning of NWS watches and warnings.
- Preparation tips for your home from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
- Preparation tips for those with Chronic Illnesses