The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts on Monday, June 1st, and unfortunately, it may be a doozy. Forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, are forecasting an above-normal season. And, that could spell serious trouble for hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hurricane outlook predicts a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 10% chance of a below-normal season.
Further, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a likely range of 13 to 19 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes. That means NOAA’s forecast represents a significant uptick in the biggest threats.
Interestingly, two tropical systems have already formed in the Atlantic Basin before the official June 1st start of the 2020 season—Arthur and Bertha. Knowing that very few hurricane seasons have delivered two such storms so early, let that be a warning sign of things (potentially) to come. If possible, begin your hurricane preparations now. Just do it safely.
“Social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from COVID-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go-kit, evacuation routes, shelters and more. With tornado season at its peak, hurricane season around the corner, and flooding, earthquakes and wildfires a risk year-round, it is time to revise and adjust your emergency plan now,” said Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA.
Hurricane preparedness is critically important every season, especially the 2020 season. With COVID-19 among us, you may need to adjust any preparedness actions based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials. Visit the National Hurricane Center’s website at hurricanes.gov throughout the season to stay current on any watches and warnings.
The Climate Prediction Center will update the 2020 Atlantic seasonal outlook in August prior to the historical peak of the season. Rest assured, the BOLDplanning team will share this information with you as soon as it becomes available. Until then, be safe and be storm-ready if you live or work in a hurricane-prone area.
With 10,000+ plans under its belt, BOLDplanning is the preeminent developer of online software for Emergency Operations (EOP) plans, Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans, and Hazard Mitigation plans. The company’s team of experts is also well-versed in facilitating HSEEP-compliant exercises to help ensure organizational preparedness for natural disasters and other disruptions. Email info@BOLDplanning.com or call 615.469.5558 to learn more now.