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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 05/27/2009

Obama Proclaims Hurricane Preparedness Week

By Ann Posegate

* Full Forecast | Congress Ponders National Climate Service *

If you tend to avoid thinking about natural disasters, this is the week for you. In cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Hurricane Center, President Obama has proclaimed May 24-30, 2009, National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The president is encouraging "all Americans...to plan ahead and help secure the safety and property of those who face advancing storms."

2009 Hurricane Forecast Summary from Different Outlets

Forecast Source
Named Storms
Hurricanes
Major Hurricanes
AccuWeather
10
6
2
Colorado State University
12
6
2
NOAA
9-14
4-7
1-3
Tropical Storm Risk Inc.
15
8
4
WeatherBug
11-13
6-8
3-4
 
Forecast Average
12.1
6.5
2.7
2008 Season
16
8
5
Long-term Average
10
6
2

Keep reading for more on Hurricane Preparedness Week after the poll...


Hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and ends November 30. An average of 11 tropical storms develop each year over the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. About five hurricanes strike the U.S. coast from Texas to Maine every three years; an average of two of them are Category 3 (111-130 mph winds) or higher.

According to "Hurricanes and the Middle Atlantic States," a book by Rick Schwartz, the east coast of the United States is in an active hurricane cycle, which began in 1995 and could last 25 to 30 years.


National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 24-30. Courtesy NOAA.

The National Hurricane Center is emphasizing hurricane history, hazards (including storm surge, high winds, tornadoes and inland flooding), forecasts, preparing and taking action this week.

"Awareness and preparation are critical to surviving and recovering from hurricanes," stated the president. "I call upon government agencies, private organizations, media, community groups, schools and residents of hurricane-prone areas to share information about hurricane preparedness and response to help protect communities and save lives."

One tool being promoted by Hurricane Preparedness Week is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal Services Center Historical Hurricane Tracks Web site, which offers a visual database of hurricane tracks, searchable by individual storm name, zip codes, place name, climatic region or latitude and longitude.

NOAA's 2009 Hurricane Outlook calls for a near-normal season, with nine to 14 named storms (sustained winds of at least 39 miles per hour). Four to seven of these are expected to become hurricanes, and one to three of these hurricanes are estimated to become major hurricanes (Categories 3, 4 or 5).

Before a hurricane threatens, take some time this week to answer the following questions: What are hurricane hazards? What do they mean to you? What actions should you take to be prepared?

Related Links

Capital Weather Gang's Tropical Weather archive
National Hurricane Preparedness Week
National Hurricane Center
Hurricanes and the Middle Atlantic States
National Hurricane Preparedness Week, 2009, Proclamation

By Ann Posegate  | May 27, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Posegate, Tropical Weather, Wx and the City  
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Comments

I chose "by preparing at the last minute if a hurricane is imminent," but that is only partly true. I will prepare the second I hear something from CWG, which will be far before most people start hitting the grocery stores.

I love you, CWG!

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | May 27, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

These forecasts are worthless. I predict I will drink 18 beers tomorrow night, plus or minus 12 (but more likely plus)!

Posted by: SnowMonsterDC | May 27, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

The hurricane forecasts have little, if any value, even if they were perfect. If 10 major storms were forecast and actually occurred, it makes little difference if none affect vulnerable land areas. On the other hand, if there were only one major storm predicted and observed but passed over Miami, then it's a really big deal.

Without accurate predictions (currently not possible) of how many of the predicted storms per season affect land, forecasts are close to worthless. Since there is essentially no correlation between the number storms and the number affecting vulnerable regions, there is no way to translate these predictions into information of value to decision makers - you have to prepare or not prepare the same whether only 1 or 10 major storms are forecast.

Posted by: SteveT-CapitalWeatherGang | May 28, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Great forecast material all pulled together into 1 place!!

Well all I can say is that after you are assured you and your family is protected (*Tips), it's important to take stock in what your family owns.

Whether there are 1 or 6 storms this year, losing your house or household valuables can be devastating, also!!!!

SO ATTENTION TO ALL HOMEOWNERS: and residents of Hurricane Prone Areas: eProoft a home inventory software company is giving away a FREE LIFE-TIME MEMBERSHIP in a effort to help people become better prepared before the storm.

Go to eProoft.com and type in the coupon code LA2009 this week & next (only) for a FREE LIFE-TIME MEMBERSHIP.


Posted by: LoveLife2 | May 29, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

We moved here from the Gulf Coast. If there is a chance of a hurricane here, and it seems like an unlikely occurrence, BELIEVE ME I know what to do. We keep water, food, and various other things already (charcoal for the barbeque, ice chests, tarps useful for closing up holes in the roof, for example).

But if a serious storm were to hit this area, all bets would be off. I hope that there is an emergency evacuation plan for the metro area, but somehow -- I doubt it. Ya'll haven't had a storm in so long, a real storm, the area would be taken completely by surprise.

Posted by: BadMommy1 | May 30, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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