The official start of hurricane season is June 1st. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. The peak of the season is late August and early September, but hurricanes can affect the area all through the season. In this weather blog, we will discuss what could be expected for certain months and the precautions you and your family can take ahead of time to be prepared for anything Mother Nature brings our way.
According to the climatology chart, the months of June, July and the end of the season are fairly quiet. There is an obvious uptick in activity heading through the months of August and September, as cool air meets warm oceanic temperatures.
Now, let's look at what can be expected during specific months.
In June, there's a concentration in activity across the Gulf of Mexico, eastern seaboard, and western Caribbean. Two factors that drive tropical formation in June are decaying fronts that stall across the Gulf of Mexico, and east coast, and the monsoonal trough that sets up across the Bay of Campeche and western Caribbean. Storms do not typically get all that strong, since wind shear is still quite high across these areas in June, but there are exceptions to the rule. In fact, the strongest June hurricane ever, Hurricane Audrey, hit Louisiana back in 1957, causing widespread damage. This serves as a good example as to why we have to watch these areas closely during the month of June.
Later in the season, such as in August, storms begin to originate from further eastward. This gives tropical systems more time to get their act together and get stronger. Storms usually track west-northwest, either through the Caribbean, or north of the islands, depending on the orientation of an Atlantic high pressure system.
By October, early Fall season fronts begin to have an impact on tropical systems. For this reason, storms begin to take a more poleward (north) track once entering the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean. Storms can still impact the southeastern U.S. in October. In fact, notable Louisiana hurricanes in October include Hurricane Lili and Hurricane Hilda.
So what can you and your family do to prepare for the season that is now upon us?
The best thing to do is to visit an insurance adjuster and make sure your policies and plans are up-to-date. Make sure you have flood insurance, even if you are not in a flood zone, because areas usually not prone to flooding can flood during a hurricane situation. Also, make sure you have both home and contents insurance.
Next, assemble a hurricane safety kit ahead of time. This includes a first aid kit, canned food, batteries, important documents, medications, bottled water, portable radio, flashlight, and any other important day-to-day items. Review your family plan and evacuation routes ahead of time, since roads can get congested during high volume evacuation situations. Do not forget the pets, make sure there is a place for them to go in the event of an evacuation.
Some tips to prepare your home and property include securing loose objects on your property, check rain gutters for clogs, and trim trees and shrubs.
Of course, stick with the First Alert Storm Center and KALB for the latest information. Daily tropical forecasts will be included in our shows and we will alert you if any tropical activity is brewing close to home.
IMPORTANT-- Do not buy the hype. You will see many social media sites and pages posting stories of large hurricanes that could impact the area. Problem with this is, many of these images are a week, or even two weeks, away on certain models, when the forecast becomes very uncertain and almost fantasy. While we may also see these long range forecasts, many times these forecasts simply change when the next model run comes out. To keep integrity in forecast, we do not report on these model runs to create hype or scare the public. We will inform the public if a storm is shown on a model in a close enough time frame that warrants attention!
~Meteorologists Trevor Sonnier & Abby Rinderer