Roaring winds, blowing debris, power outages, floods and downpours — hurricane season has begun in the Atlantic, and along with it comes catastrophic weather.
The official hurricane season in the Atlantic extends from June 1 to Nov. 30, according to the National Hurricane Center. During these months in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, people may experience inclimate weather.
Storm activity spikes during Aug. and Oct., stirring up 96% of Category 4 or 5 hurricane days, 87% of Category 1 or 2 hurricane days and 78% of tropical storms, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
For 2019, the NOAA estimated a 45% chance of an above average hurricane season, with a possibility of nine to fifteen named storms, and the prediction of four to eight of them becoming hurricanes.
According to The National Weather Service on Twitter, “The entire tropical Atlantic basin has become quite active.”
Seen in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, hurricanes are ranked from one to five based on their overall sustained wind speed. The ranks are categorized as the following:
Category 1: Winds 74 to 95 mph (Minor damage)
Category 2: Winds 96 to 110 mph (Extensive damage)
Category 3: Winds 111 to 129 mph (Devastating damage)
Category 4: Winds 130 to 156 mph (Catastrophic damage)
Category 5: Winds 157 mph or higher (Catastrophic damage, the highest sustained wind speed)
The most recent catastrophic hurricane, Dorian, devastated the Bahamas with winds well-over 157mph (the threshold for a Category 5), making it one of the strongest storms in the Atlantic east coast of Florida.
Residents in low-lying areas and homes should never ignore an evacuation order resulting from a tropical storm or hurricane. Homes can be vulnerable to high speed winds, leading to a high risk of damage. Sophomore Julian Orrego, who has lived in Florida for most of his life, had to evacuate his home during Hurricane Irma.
“I experienced Irma. We had to put up shutters around our house and we eventually realized last minute that we were in the evacuation zone, so we had to go to a relative’s home in Miami Lakes for a week,” Orrego said.
Although there is no precise way to determine the route and landfall of a hurricane, there are appropriate safety measures that offer protection if that time comes. The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends the following:
Be aware of your surroundings
Replenish emergency kits
Cover home windows (shutters, boards, etc.)
Be prepared to evacuate or take shelter elsewhere
Install a generator if needed