Friday, May 31, 2013

Atlantic hurricane 2013 season begins Saturday

They may not strike, but you should still be ready.
Before the Atlantic hurricane season officially begins Saturday, the National Hurricane Center is hosting National Hurricane Preparedness Week this week.
Saturday, June 1 marks Day 1 of the six-month hurricane period ending in November, which is a reminder for area counties to double-check and inform residents about disaster plans.
The NHC is predicting between 13 and 20 tropical storms in 2013. Up to 11 of those are predicted to become hurricanes and between three and six could turn into major storms.
“We typically take a look at what’s coming off Africa,” said meteorologist Lara Pagano about tracking the tropical storm cycle. “You have to have the warm sea surface temperatures and not too much wind sheer out there so it can start to develop.”
Pagano, who works with the National Weather Service in Newport, said with these “ingredients,” the weather service can forecast the intensity of a storm as it gets closer.
Although it will be an active hurricane season, Pagano said there may or may not be landfall.
 Randy Skinner, Greene County Emergency Services manager, said, “The biggest thing I can stress to the citizens of the county is to make sure you have supplies that last you at least three days.”

With a busy hurricane season predicted, one hasn’t made landfall since Hurricane Irene in 2011. More than 2 million people were under mandatory evacuation and 26 river-flooding records were broken, according to
Hurricane Floyd of 1999, also called the “500-Year Storm,” devastated the Kinston area more than the others. When that catastrophic storm bellowed into North Carolina, most of Kinston’s highways were inundated; the Neuse River rose to 28 feet and it cost Lenoir County $310,000,000 in damages.
Floyd was tracked in its early stages.
“People need to pay attention to the forecast (and) the hazards that are involved with them and heed the advice of the emergency managers and the national weather services,” Pagano said. “I think that’s the best that most people can do at this point.”
Sonja Babic
Your North Carolina Broker

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