MIAMI, Fl. June 1st through November 30th officially marks the length of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. During that period, the National Hurricane Center spends its time monitoring the tropics for the next storm to threaten the United State Coastline.
The official forecast for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season for the year is to see "below-average" activity in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean. Even so, NOAA forecasters are advising residents in hurricane prone areas to prepare as if this is the year a storm will come your way. The strong message is it only takes one storm, making landfall in the right place, to impact you and your home.
While the Brazos Valley sits approximately 150 miles north of the Upper Texas Coast, the Director of the National Hurricane Center -- Dr. Rick Knabb -- reminds inland residents that they have a hurricane problem as well. One that needs to be planned for in advance.
According to Knabb, the bigger the hurricane or tropical storm and the faster it is moving, the further inland the wind threat is expected to be. He also reminds that tornadoes can extend hundreds of miles inland from where the center of circulation comes ashore. Flash flooding is also a concern as tropical, torrential rainfall is typically expected to accompany a system swinging over land.
The National Hurricane Center is responsible for issuing forecasts for where a tropical system is expected to move to over a span of five to seven days. Once a system starts to produce tornadoes and flash flooding, the local National Weather Service office will take over and issue advisories as the situation develops.
Knabb leaves a word of advice and reminds those inland that they need to be part of the evacuation discussion as well. His suggestion is to find family or friends that live closer to the coast, in an evacuation zone, and you be their evacuation destination.
While the tropics remain relatively quiet heading into the beginning of August, preparations start now -- before the next storm forms.