Posted: May 25, 2014 5:43 PM by Meteorologist Josh Eachus
Updated: May 25, 2014 5:43 PM
From May 25 - May 31, one week prior to the official beginning of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, coastal residents within the United States recognize National Hurricane Preparedness Week.
History has shown that many tropical tragedies are related to a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation. It is important to be aware of 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. The National Weather Service strives to protect life and property by issuing timely watches and warnings. If a storm develops, WBRZ's team of forecasters will be with you before, during and after it passes. Regardless, it is important that you make preparations now, so that you won't have to scramble in the final days and hours should a tropical storm 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.
A Post-Tropical Cyclone is 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. 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 rains and cause major flooding.
WBRZ.com will keep you updated, featuring additional information about tropical cyclones through Hurricane Preparedness Week. You can get much more by also visiting www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/
Remember to check out our special, "Weathering the Storm," airing on WBRZ Sunday, June 1st from 6 - 7pm.
You can get forecasts from Meteorologist Josh Eachus weekdays on 2une-In from 5-7am and News 2 at Noon from 12-1pm. Additionally, you can get the fastest and latest forecasts and weather news by checking in with wbrz.com/weather, liking Josh on Facebook and following him on Twitter.
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