Hurricane season starts next week

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- When a tropical system hits the coast, it can send rain, storms, and even tornadoes inland towards East Tennessee. But, when you're headed to the beach, you need to know what to do in the case of a tropical storm.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 27th through June 2nd.

The official Atlantic Hurricane season is June 1 through November 30th, but this 2012 saw some early activity with Tropical Storm Alberto on May 19th. The National Hurricane Center said that was the first time that a tropical storm has formed before the official start of the hurricane season in both the Atlantic and East Pacific basins.

The reason for the preparedness week is because history has proven a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

If you're going on a beach vacation keep an eye on the weather forecast, everyday, to keep an eye on the latest strength of any possible tropical storms and any path changes that could affect you.

Hurricane hazards include storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, high winds, tornadoes, and rip currents.

For more information on how to prepare and keep informed about tropical weather, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the prediction for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.

NOAA Meteorologists expect a near-normal hurricane season, based on conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean.

For the six-months, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center says there’s a 70-percent chance of nine to 15 named storms, with top winds of 39 MPH or higher. Of those, they expect four to eight will strengthen to a hurricane, with top winds of 74 mph or higher.

They expect one to three hurricanes will become major hurricanes, with top winds of 111 MPH or higher, ranking Category 3, 4 or 5.

Based on data from 1981 to 2010, an average season produces 12 named storms with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

“NOAA’s outlook predicts a less active season compared to recent years,” said NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D.

In a release, Lubchenco added, “But regardless of the outlook, it’s vital for anyone living or vacationing in hurricane-prone locations to be prepared. We have a stark reminder this year with the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew.” Andrew was a Category 5 hurricane that devastated South Florida on August 24, 1992, and was the first storm in a late-starting season that produced only six named storms.


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