Posted on 11 Aug 2010
Meteorologists, weather services, the National Hurricane Center and others intent on examining the trends in the Atlantic Ocean and associated weather conditions say this year’s August and September tropical cyclone activity could be one for the record books. Their warning: Don't be lulled into a false sense of security, despite seeing only a couple of tropical storms over the past two months; the annual hurricane season traditionally peaks between mid-August and October.
A mid-season tropical weather update released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reduces only the upper reaches of the storm numbers because the early season wasn’t as active as forecasts had predicted.
Three storms — Alex, Bonnie and Colin — formed earlier this season. However, Gerry Bell, lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said the season could end up with 14 to 20 named storms.
NOAA forecasters reported that as many as eight to 12 of the named storms could become hurricanes, with four to six of those becoming major hurricanes with wind speeds exceeding 111 mph.
That’s higher than the average of 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes and two becoming major hurricanes.
Two potential systems currently are threatening to form in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, where conditions are favorable for strengthening, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness website, http://www.getagameplan.org, has hurricane supply checklists, short videos with basic information and things to remember before and after a tropical storm makes landfall. As state and local officials have been saying all year, and especially in light of the recent named storms, now is the time to get ready.