Other natural disasters aren’t going to disappear or even hold back just because we’re already wrestling with a pandemic that will probably have its second wave in the fall/winter. The national forecasters keep increasing their projections of the number of major storms that could hit the East Coast of the U.S. this hurricane season. Time to stock up and plan.
Six Major Storms Could Slam East Coast This Hurricane Season
National forecasters predict the Atlantic Ocean will see double the usual number of major hurricanes during a particularly brutal season.
May 25, 2020 10:10 am ET
NEW YORK CITY — The brutal hurricane season expected to hit the East Coast this summer could be even worse than forecasters initially predicted, with double the usual number of major hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service.
The 2020 hurricane season could send as many as six major hurricanes for a total of 19 named storms hurtling up the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center.
An average hurricane season produces six hurricanes, three of them major, and a total of 12 named storms, forecasters said.
This prediction surpasses a Colorado State University’s forecast that warned of 16 named storms, which they noted was about 140 percent of the average season, and come as the nation grapples novel coronavirus pandemic.
“As Americans focus their attention on a safe and healthy reopening of our country,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, “It remains critically important that we also remember to make the necessary preparations for the upcoming hurricane season.”
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NOAA predicts the Atlantic will see between 13 to 19 named storms (39 mph or higher winds), of which between six and 10 could become hurricanes with 74 mph or higher winds, and between three and six major hurricane with winds of 111 mph or higher.
“Hurricane preparedness is critically important,” a NOAA video warns. “It takes just one storm to cause significant damage.”
The absence of El Nino coupled with warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures, weaker trade winds, and an enhanced west African monsoon all make a heavy hurricane season more likely, forecasters said.
Said Neil Jacobs, acting NOAA administrator, “NOAA’s analysis of current and seasonal atmospheric conditions reveals a recipe for an active Atlantic hurricane season this year.”
Hurricane season begins June 1 — just as New York City and Long Island will begin preparing to reopen after months of a statewide stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo — and runs through Nov. 30.
Federal Emergency Management Agency representative Carlos Castillo warned hurricane preparedness could be complicated by social distancing guidelines made necessary by the pandemic.
“With tornado season at its peak, hurricane season around the corner, and flooding, earthquakes and wildfires a risk year-round, it is time to revise and adjust your emergency plan now,” said Castillo.
“Natural disasters won’t wait, so I encourage you to keep COVID-19 in mind when revising or making your plan for you and your loved ones, and don’t forget your pets.”