June 1 marks the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which continues through November 30. In an average season, based on data from 1981 to 2010, 12 named tropical cyclones should be expected, with 6 of these reaching hurricane intensity, and 3 developing into major hurricanes.
“This outlook is a general guide to the expected overall activity during the upcoming hurricane season,” the National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Prediction Center says. “It is not a seasonal hurricane landfall forecast, and it does not predict levels of activity for any particular location.”
The official NOAA 2017 Atlantic hurricane season outlook indicates a 45% probability of an above-normal season, a 35% probability of a near-normal season, and a 20% probability of a below-normal season. This outlook calls for between 11 and 17 named storms. This already includes the pre-season Tropical Storm Arlene, which occurred in April. Of these named storms, between five and nine of them could reach hurricane intensity, with between two and four of these becoming major hurricanes — Category 3 or above.
Here are the names for 2017 Atlantic Storms: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.
The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center points out that the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season outlook is produced in collaboration with hurricane experts from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the Hurricane Research Division (HRD). The Atlantic hurricane region includes the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging residents and businesses to prepare by understanding their risk, planning for the entire family, and downloading the FEMA App. It contains important information on what to do before, during, and after a hurricane. The App also allows users to receive weather alerts from NOAA’s National Weather Service, includes lifesaving safety tips, and provides access to disaster resources should survivors need them. The App is available in the Apple App store or the Google Play store, and is also available in Spanish.
“Hurricanes and tropical systems have the potential to cause serious damage to coastal and inland areas,” FEMA said in a news release. “Their hazards could come in many forms including storm surge, heavy rainfall, coastal and inland flooding, high winds, and tornadoes.” FEMA advises:
- Know Your Risk: Residents should learn what types of natural disasters are common in their state. NOAA’s historical hurricane tracks tool provides information on the severity and frequency of past hurricanes.
- Learn Your Flood Risk: Flooding is the nation’s most frequent and costly natural disaster. Go to FloodSmart.gov and learn how to protect your home or business. Purchase a flood insurance policy if you do not already have one.
- Make A Plan: Family members should discuss and plan how they will communicate with each other during a significant weather event when they may not be together, or during an evacuation order.
- Know your evacuation zone: Evacuation zones are areas that may be impacted by hurricane flooding. Many communities designate evacuation zones and routes to get citizens to safety. If a hurricane threatens and local officials say it’s time to evacuate, residents should evacuate immediately. Do not wait for the next forecast.
To learn more about hurricane seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, visit www.hurricanes.gov. To learn more on how to prepare before, during, and after a hurricane, visit www.ready.gov. — Thanks to National Weather Service-Boston Office; FEMA