WASHNGTON, D.C. – Forecasters are predicting a 75% chance the Atlantic hurricane season will be near or above-normal this year, according to NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. Hurricane season starts today and runs through November 30.
“With the advances made in hardware and computing over the course of the last year, the ability of NOAA scientists to both predict the path of storms and warn Americans who may find themselves in harm’s way is unprecedented,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a press release. “The devastating hurricane season of 2017 demonstrated the necessity for prompt and accurate hurricane forecasts.”
NOAA’s forecasters predict a 70% likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including one to four major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
The possibility of a weak El Niño developing, along with near-average sea surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, are two of the factors driving this outlook. These factors are set upon a backdrop of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are conducive to hurricane development and have been producing stronger Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995.
“Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector and the public,” said acting FEMA Deputy Administrator Daniel Kaniewski. “It only takes one storm to devastate a community, so now is the time to prepare.”
For convenience retailers, preparing ahead of a storm can be crucial to staying open and in business for residents and emergency personnel. NACS has many resources to assist retailers in disaster preparedness, relief and recovery.
In addition, our coverage of the aftermath of 2017 Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria recently won a writing award from Association Media & Publishing. In our articles, we discussed how the convenience industry aided their communities in times of disaster.