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Beyond The Forecast – Hurricane Preparedness Week runs May 5 through May 11

Happy Monday, and welcome to another edition of Beyond The Forecast!

We are less than a month away from the start of the Atlantic hurricane season.

So far, two entities have released their seasonal outlooks.

North Carolina State University and Colorado State University are both forecasting a more active season, thanks to La Niña and very warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic.

Colorado State and NC State are both forecasting an active hurricane season.

Colorado State and NC State are both forecasting an active hurricane season.

La Niña refers to cooler ocean waters in the Pacific.

This tends to lead to weaker upper level winds in the eastern U.S., which allows hurricanes to thrive and maintain structure from bottom to top.

The role that La Niña plays on hurricane season in the Atlantic

The role that La Niña plays on hurricane season in the Atlantic

On average, you tend to see a slow start to the season with peak activity between late August and mid-October.

Here is the average trend for tropical activity in the Atlantic basin

Here is the average trend for tropical activity in the Atlantic basin

Though we’re quite distanced from peak season for hurricanes, NOAA is helping you get ahead of the curve.

While we often don’t see the worst impacts of a storm, we are prone to flooding due to our topography and even tornadoes on the outer bands of hurricanes.

You can look back to 2021 when the remnants of Ida spawned two tornadoes in Montgomery County for evidence of tornadoes related to landfalling tropical systems.

Prepare Before Hurricane Season

Monday’s topic is based on preparation for the upcoming season.

This can range from having the right supplies to insurance checks and strengthening your home ahead of any potential storm.

Credit: NOAA's National Weather Service

Credit: NOAA’s National Weather Service

Understanding the Forecast

Tuesday’s topic is an important one for us as a weather team – understanding forecast information.

Aside from having a reliable source and multiple ways to get information, you should know that a) impacts matter more than the storm’s category and b) that storm impacts stretch outside of the forecast cone shown by the National Hurricane Center.

Credit: NOAA's National Weather Service

Credit: NOAA’s National Weather Service

Where to Go When a Storm Threatens

Very rarely will we have to evacuate for a storm. In fact, people oftentimes come this far inland to escape the direct path of a storm.

That said, here are some things to keep in mind if we’re forecasting extreme impacts from a tropical system.

Credit: NOAA's National Weather Service

Credit: NOAA’s National Weather Service

Staying Safe During the Storm

Staying safe during any storm starts with being informed.

You should have more than one way to get weather warnings at any time.

In the instance of tropical systems, understand that (as mentioned above), we do get some outer impacts.

Credit: NOAA's National Weather Service

Credit: NOAA’s National Weather Service

Sometimes, like during Tropical Storm Michael, those impacts can be more direct.

In that situation, it unfortunately turned deadly in our area.

Stay Vigilant Even After A Storm

Even after a storm, there may still be weather hazards to monitor – from heat to flooding to power lines being down.

This can become a roadblock in the cleanup efforts after any stronger storms that move through southwest and central Virginia.

Before any power outages, make sure that your generator is a safe distance away from your house.

Credit: NOAA's National Weather Service

Credit: NOAA’s National Weather Service

Stay Ahead of the Season

Even though it’s spring, some of what we tell you during severe storm season applies to hurricane season.

Know your risk. Have the essentials now in case of bad weather. Learn about the forecast and alerts.

Reach out to me/us with questions if you have them!

Credit: NOAA's National Weather Service

Credit: NOAA’s National Weather Service

You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, the Lynchburg area, the New River Valley, Southside or the Highlands anytime at WSLS.com/weather. Know your zone!

In case you missed it, we have other great weather and science content on WSLS.com as well.

If you prefer your weather information delivered by social media, you can follow Your Local Weather Authority on Facebook and Twitter.


Source: WSLS News 10

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