Officially, it’s here. Hurricane Season starts on June 1, and goes through November 30 every year. Of course, hurricanes happen year round; they’re simply more prone to occur during the 6 month period of June 1 – November 30. Hurricane Alex popped up in January 2016. I remember the shock expressed by clients and friends, that a hurricane could “happen so early.” I was repeatedly explaining that hurricanes happen anywhere and anytime.
This year the hurricanes have held off so far. We did have one named storm in the days leading up to hurricane season, Alberto. Fortunately, he never made it past sub-tropical storm status. He still brought a lot of rain, with flooding in some areas, but not the devastation that a hurricane can cause. Just look at how Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria nine months later.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their predictions for this year, ironically the day before Alberto became a name storm. According to NOAA, they are forecasting a 75% chance that this hurricane season will be “near- or above-normal” in the Atlantic region. The break down is a prediction of a 35% chance of an above-normal season, 40% chance of a normal season, and a 25% chance of a below-normal season. I think everyone is pulling for that 25% chance. Their prediction for last year was that it would be above-normal, which turned out to be an understatement. This year’s prediction is forecasting 10 to 16 named storms in the Atlantic region (Alberto is the first), of while 5 to 9 of them could become hurricanes with 1 to 4 of them being major hurricanes (category 3 or higher).
In case you’re curious, the storm names for the Atlantic Region are:
Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Issac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sarah, Tony, Valerie, William
Let’s hope we don’t make it too far into into the alphabet.
For the Eastern Pacific Region (closest to North America), NOAA is also predicting a near- or above-normal season (80% chance) with “14 to 20 named storms, of which 7 to 12 are expected to become hurricanes, including 3 to 7 major hurricanes.”
Susan Schaefer is the owner of Ships ‘N’ Trips Travel located in Tennessee, and specializes in leisure travel with a focus on group travel and charity fundraisers. Through their division Kick Butt Vacations, she focuses on travel for 18 to 23-year-olds. Susan can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (888) 221-1209.