UPDATED 9:42 AM PT — Friday, May 24, 2019
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) lead forecaster — Dr. Gerry Bell — recently announced there is a 40-percent chance the 2019 hurricane season will be “near normal.” The season, which runs from June 1st to November 13th, will reportedly be suppressed by the Tropical Pacific’s intense and ongoing El Niño.
On the other hand, strong monsoons in West Africa are likely to increase the season’s intensity. Over all, the competing conditions produce a likelihood of anywhere between nine to 15 storms.
“Of those, four to eight will become hurricanes with top winds of at least 74 miles an hour and two to four major hurricanes reaching Category 3, 4 or 5,” stated Acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs.
Even a so-called “normal” season can bolster a lot of activity, and FEMA officials said “the time to prepare is now.”
“It only takes one land-falling hurricane to cause great destruction to a community,” said Acting Deputy FEMA Administrator Daniel Kaniewski.
This was proven in 2018 when Hurricane Florence brought death and catastrophic damage to the Carolinas. One month later, Hurricane Michael shredded parts of the panhandle.
As the six-month season approaches, some residents are choosing to stay to rebuild. They have said the storms can not wash away the love they have for their community.
For tips on preparation and to stay on top of warnings, NOAA suggests visiting https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.