The administration is already forecasting a near normal hurricane season for 2019 in the Atlantic, which started on June 1st, and extends until November 30th.
There will most likely be a range of 9 to 15 storms strong enough to name. This means that the winds will be of 39 mph or higher.
Anywhere from 4 to 8 hurricanes could form, and out of those, only 2 to 4 could become major hurricanes. These major hurricanes would be in the categories 3, 4, or 5 and must have winds of 111 mph. All of NOAA’s predictions are made with a 70% accuracy rate.
This year the Atlantic has sea-surface temperatures that are warmer than average. This, along with a large west African monsoon, make hurricane activity more likely.
NOAA has three brand new Earth observing satellites that are next generation. The data collected from these will be invaluable to have in order to properly predict storms so forecasters can make serious decisions about what to do next.
There will be changes made early on in the 2019 season Global Forecast System model. It’s the first premium upgrade made in 40 years. This will be critical in tracking cyclones and the intensity of each.
NOAA’s offices in San Juan will now increase in size to include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the storm watches and warnings. The website will also include excessive rainfall expectancies.
The Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be able to capture higher resolution data this year as it’s onboard radar systems have been upgraded. The specialists at the National Hurricane Center will be receiving these observations in near real time.
The central and eastern Pacific basins were also included in NOAA’s seasonal predictions. They estimate the area to have a 70% chance of an above normal storm season. They are expecting 15 to 22 named storms.
There is a 70% probability of 5-8 tropical cyclones. This involves storms such as hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions.
These predictions by NOAA are for all seasonal activity, not just landfall. That being said, it’s always within your best interest to have a trustworthy supply of backup power for your home. Investing in a generator is never a bad idea.
Preparing for the 2019 hurricane season is just as important as it is every year. If you have concerns, keep an eye on the website at hurricanes.gov where you can see all of the storm watches and warnings.
“Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector, and the public,” said Daniel Kaniewski, Ph.D., who is the FEMA deputy administrator for resilience. “It only takes one event to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare.”