Hurricane Preparedness Week
History has shown that many tropical tragedies are related to a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation. This year, from May 24-30 the National Hurricane Center, the WBRZ Weather Team and hopefully you will participate in National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Together, we'll discuss the science behind tropical cyclones, the hazards they present, how they may affect you, and what you can do to prepare for and recover from a storm should one strike.
Hazards include but are not limited to storm surge, heavy rainfall, inland flooding and high winds. We on the WBRZ Weather Team, with the National Weather Service, strive to protect life and property by passing along timely watches and warnings. If a storm develops, the WBRZ Weather Team will be with you before, during and after it passes. Regardless, it is important to get ready now, so that you won't have to scramble in the final days and hours should a tropical cyclone threaten our area.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) defines a tropical cyclone as a rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has a closed low-level circulation. Tropical cyclones rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. There are several classifications of tropical cyclones:
- Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph (33 knots) or less.
- Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph (34 to 63 knots).
- Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher.
- Major Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph (96 knots) or higher, corresponding to a Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
- Post-Tropical Cyclone: A system that no longer possesses sufficient tropical characteristics to be considered a tropical cyclone. Post-tropical cyclones can still bring heavy rain and high winds.
On average, over a two year period, 3 hurricanes strike United States coastline with one of them being considered major. Louisiana averages a hurricane strike every 8 years. The last was Isaac in 2012. While hurricanes are classified as the most powerful tropical cyclone, tropical storms and even depressions should still be taken seriously. Such storms can dump very heavy rain and cause major flooding. Recent examples of tropical storms to impact Louisiana are Humberto, Lee and Matthew.
You can view our one-hour special, "Weathering the Storm" on Sunday, May 31 from 6-7pm on WBRZ News 2.
The WBRZ Weather Team will bring you more throughout the week, featuring additional information about tropical cyclones through Hurricane Preparedness Week. You can get much more by also visiting www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/
All through the season, check in with the WBRZ Weather Team on News 2, wbrz.com/weather and please keep up with us on social media for the very latest: