The hurricane season in America begins on June 1st and lasts until November the 1st each and every year. However, this year, in particular, the hurricane season is ahead of speed, in fact, it’s currently at record speed and we’re only one-third of the way through.
Researchers at Colorado State University recently released their predicted seasonal forecasts, showing the hurricane season to be the most devastating in thirty-seven years. The hurricane season for this year has now been called “extremely active”, with a predicted 24 storms, of which twelve are hurricanes (5 of which are to be major). To put that into perspective, the average hurricane season in the United States contains half this year’s predictions, HALF.
In addition to this, Colorado has also forecasted a 75% chance of the U.S. coast being struck by a devastating hurricane during the current 2020 season. Why does this matter, you ask? A hurricane hitting on the coast has a much higher wind speed, creating more destruction and damage in its path.
This article will discuss further this year’s hurricane season and predictions, followed up with some actionable advice to help you keep safe during the “extremely active” period.
Upgraded hurricane forecast from the NOAA
August 6th, 2020, the NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration upgraded its hurricane forecast. NOAA declared the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season to also be “active”, declaring it to be one of the most serious in over twenty-years of hurricane outlooks.
The Secretary of Commerce at the Noaa, Wilbur Ross said: “We encourage all Americans to do their part by getting prepared, remaining vigilant, and being ready to take action when necessary.”
So, why the increase in hurricanes?
The biggest reason for such an active hurricane season this year is an increase in water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic. Essentially, this acts as fuel to power hurricanes - the hotter this is, the more hurricanes we are likely to see.
Some of the hotter water in the Atlantic is normal - this is part of a natural cycle known as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. However, it’s the increase in non-natural water temperature that is most dangerous, caused by human-oriented climate change and adverse weather patterns. Since 1901, the tropical Atlantic sea temperature has risen by roughly 2 degrees Fahrenheit - we need to slow this down to protect the earth, the people on it, and to prevent more hurricanes from taking place.
Furthermore, another reason for the “extremely active” Atlantic hurricane season is the very active West African monsoon. Whilst this itself would have made for a more “active season”, atmospheric pressures in the tropical Atlantic hit a record low. Areas of low pressure are matched with rising air, rising air increases the foundation for tropical storms and thunderstorms to commence.
Alongside rising air fueling tropical storms, wind shear also tears systems apart. A factor that would lead to high wind shear in the Atlantic Basin is El Niño. However, this summer El Niño is not present, so instead, we are faced with La Nina. this is cooler than tropical pacific waters, meaning weaker winds in the Atlantic ocean, resulting in a perfect set up for an “extremely active” hurricane season in 2020.
So, whilst it’s not entirely the fault of humans, if climate change was to be slowed down then this year’s hurricane season would definitely be somewhat less active. It’s a combination of a multitude of rare events all colliding together to form one mammoth of a cumulation of storms set to hit the United States.
Be prepared for the “extremely active season”
As previously mentioned, this year’s hurricane season is already ahead of schedule, in fact, it’s traveling at record speed. The season has already begun and we’re currently just over one month into the six-month-long hurricane extravaganza.
With a much more active season than normal, it’s especially important to begin preparations. Preparations you can take now include:
- Making sure your insurance documents and policies are up to date
- Stocking up on emergency supplies
- Creating an action plan in the event of a serious hurricane
Making sure your insurance documents and policies are up to date
If an adverse hurricane is to hit and your insurance is not up to date then you could be in for a slap in the face. Updating your insurance is an easy process and should not be delayed, especially with the season well on its way and more active than usual.
If you are unsure how to do this, a quick call to your insurance provider is all you need, here you will find all the help, guidance, and information to protect your home and belongings in the event of a hurricane.
Stocking up on emergency supplies
Now is the time to be purchasing emergency supplies, especially if you haven’t done so already. Whilst we’re not saying “panic buy”, we are saying start picking up the occasional thing or two when out shopping. For example, perhaps buy a few extra cans of tinned food or bottle water when at the store, keeping this in a separate stash in the event of a hurricane.
Creating an action plan in the event of a serious hurricane
If a hurricane is to hit, you need an action plan. Discuss and create this with your household, ensuring each and every family member knows what to do and how to do it should a serious hurricane hit.