Pat Shingleton: "Tis the Season..."
As Hurricane Season 2016 begins today, 2014 was the last time we registered a land falling hurricane. Arthur slipped along eastern North Carolina on July 4, 2015 and was the only storm since Superstorm Sandy. From 2006 to 2015, just 13 percentof Atlantic Hurricanes have hit mainland United States and is a record low for any 10-year period since the mid-1960s. Florida has experienced a hurricane drought and Texas has recorded more than seven years since Ike hit Houston. Complacency often settles in with such a long stretch of inactivity, especially with new coastal residents that haven't experienced devastating storms. When it comes to hurricane destruction it's water, not wind that claims lives. Potentially the most prolific killer in a stronger hurricane is storm surge, a term used to describe the rise in water level above normal tide in coastal areas as the hurricane's wind pushes water ashore. The National Hurricane Center has rolled out storm surge forecast maps which, instead of past forecasts relative to high or low tide, these forecasts will simply tell you how much water you can expect above ground level using a color code. While the forecast doesn't include waves riding atop the surge, or any additional water rise from heavy rainfall or rivers draining toward coastal areas, it is meant to give you an idea of the threat in the simplest terms possible.