The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration has delivered their predictions for the upcoming hurricane season, which officially kicks off on June 1st. Acting Administrator Ben Friedman says they are anticipating between 11 and 17 tropical storms, of which 5 to 9 will become hurricanes, and 2 to 4 will be major hurricanes of a Cat 3 or higher. But there will be something new this year.
“We will be issuing storm surge watches and warnings,” announced Mary Erickson, NOAA Deputy Director. They have been working on the technology and have tested it over the past few years but are now ready to roll out the system on a national scale. And as we along the Gulf Coast know, it’s critical information.
“It’s a really beautiful system that shows maps of the potential storm surge threat for any particular area,” explains Dr. Michael Bell, an associate professor at the renowned College of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. Those maps, which will be available at the National Hurricane Center’s website, will take details all the way down to your neighborhood, even your street. “You can zoom in and see where your house is and see how much water the model is predicting to impact your house,” according to Colorado State research scientist Phil Klotzbach.
Colorado State University will release their predictions for the 2017 hurricane season June 1st.