As Chief Meteoroligist at Bay News 9 only on Bright House Networks in Tampa, Florida, the start of hurricane season is a significant time for our team. As we all prepare, here are the top 10 tips to know this hurricane season:
1. Expect the unexpected. Forecasting a hurricane isn’t always black and white, there’s a lot of gray in the middle. Have a plan but be prepared to change that plan quickly.
2. If you are in a non-evacuation zone, you should prepare your home to ride out the winds. The roads will be clogged with people who have to evacuate.
3. Run from the water – hide from the wind. Evacuation zones are only for people living in areas prone to storm surge flooding.
4. If you evacuate, don’t travel a long distance away. A non-evacuation zone might be only a few miles away. Network with people you know, stay at their house in a non-evacuation zone.
5. Keep the wind out of your house. Board up your windows or use shutters. Make sure your garage door is up to the latest codes.
6. During hurricane season, check with the weather often, several times a day for updates. Things can change fast.
7. The so-called “Spaghetti plot” of hurricane models widely seen on TV and the Internet should be used with a great deal of caution by non-meteorologists. Not all models are the same and a hurricane forecast should never be based on just one model.
8. Intensity forecast hasn’t gotten any better in the last 15 years. The average error at 24 hours is still about one category and at 48 hours is about two categories on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Every storm is different, some storms will be easier to forecast and have less error, others will have more.
9. Hurricane track forecasting has gotten much better in the last decade. The average error at 24 hours is about 40 miles, at 48 hours 120 miles, and at 72 hours 175 miles. This is actually a big improvement over 20 years ago.
10. The long-range seasonal hurricane forecast really means nothing. You should prepare for every hurricane season the same, like it is the year you are going to be hit. One hurricane hitting you in a slow year is a big deal. Or in an active year, all of the hurricanes can miss you. Take it five days at a time in hurricane season.
For further information on preparing for hurricane season, check out the following websites:
Have you started preparing for hurricane season? If so, what are you some of the ways you and your family are getting ready for this year’s season?
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