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Potential Hazards Affecting Anne Arundel County

Animal Disease Outbreak, Blight, or Infestation 

Coastal Flooding



Extreme Heat

Hurricane, Tropical Storm, or NorEaster (below)

Landslide or Slope Failure

Public Health Emergency

Radiological (brochure available)

Riverine Flooding

Severe Storm or Hailstorm

Severe Winter Storm




Featured Hazard: Hurricanes, Tropical Storms or Nor Easters' (See Mitigation Page for description on all hazards.)
2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook
As of May 2015...
Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science predicts a below to near-average season for the 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season.  This year's prediction is for 7 named storms, three of which will become hurricanes, with one of those becoming major storms of category three or higher.  Although the past several years have seen higher than average activity, the reason for this year's quiet season is due to several reasons.  An El-nino began to form in the fall, which would make it harder for cyclones to form.  Additionally, Tropical Atlantic sea-surface temperatures are hovering at below average levels.
Atlantic Basin Seasonal Hurricane Forecast for 2015

Forecast Parameter and 1950-2010
Climatology (in parantheses)

 Issue Date
10 April 2015

Named Storms (12.0)7
Names Storm Days (60.1)30
Hurricanes (3 - 6)3

Hurricane Days (21.3)

Major Hurricanes (2.0)1
Major Hurricane Days (3.9)0.5
Accumulated Cyclone Energy (92)40
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (103%)


  1. Entire U.S. coastline - 28% (average for last century is 52%)
  2. U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida - 15% (average for last century is 31%)
  3. Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville - 15% (average for last century is 30%)
22% (average for last century is 42%)
When does hurricane season officially start and end?
Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30, however, hurricanes have occured outside of these dates. According to the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), the dates were selected to encompass 97% of tropical activity.
When is peak hurricane season?
AOML describes the very peak season to be from August to October, with:
78% of the tropical storm days
87% of the "minor" hurricane days
96% of the "major" hurricane days
**Remember Hurricane Agnes?? The first named storm in 1972, a rare June hurricane,  inflicted more damage than any other hurricane ever recorded at that time.**
Where can I monitor active storms?
The National Hurricane Center , a division of the National Weather Service's Tropical Prediction Center.
Where should I go to find out what is happening locally?
When severe weather is forecasted, it is important for residents and business owners to monitor the situation and act proactively to protect themselves, their family and their property. Local officials have a variety of ways to get information to the public. Emergency Information Sources.
Surviving The Storm: Anne Arundel County's Official Guide to Emergency Preparedness has information on emergency preparedness kits, local shelters and evacuation routes, creating a plan including one for your pet, as well as a list of important phone numbers and websites that you should keep handy in the event of an emergency. Open/Print a Guide.
Tropical Cyclones - The Basics
A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, which is a low pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. The cyclone is an organization of thunderstorms. In the Northern Hemisphere cyclones have a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth's surface. Hurricanes can produce violent winds, extremely large waves, torrential rains, floods, and can spawn tornadoes.Tropical cyclones are classified by strength and organized into the following:
Tropical Cyclones

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

Tropical Depression
An organization of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 35 mph or less.
StormWinds**Storm SurgeCharacteristics
Tropical Storm39-73 mph - Example: Isabel (Maryland)
Category 174-95 mph4-5 ft

No real damage to buildings. Damage to
unanchored mobile homes. Some damage
to poorly constructed signs. Also, some
coastal flooding and minor pier damage.
- Examples: Irene 1999 and Allison 1995


Tropical Storm
An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface
circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph.


Category 296-110 mph6-8 ftSome damage to building roofs, doors and windows. Considerable damage to mobile homes. Flooding damages piers and small craft in unprotected moorings may break their moorings. Some trees blown down.
- Examples: Bonnie 1998, Georges(FL & LA) 1998 and Gloria 1985
Category 3111-130 mph9-12 ftSome structural damage to small residences and utility buildings. Large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly built signs destroyed. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by floating debris. Terrain may be flooded well inland.
- Examples: Keith 2000, Fran 1996, Opal 1995, Alicia 1983 and Betsy 1965
An intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 kt) or higher
Category 4131-155 mph13-18 ft

More extensive curtain-wall failures with some complete roof structure failure on small residences. Major erosion of beach areas. Terrain may be flooded well inland.
- Examples: Hugo 1989 and Donna 1960

Category 5156 mph and up18+ ftComplete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. Flooding causes major damage to lower floors of all structures near the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas may be required.
- Examples: Andrew(FL) 1992, Camille 1969 and Labor Day 1935
** Last year the National Hurricane Center removed storm surge from the Saffir-Simpson scale. The SS scale was originally intended to be a wind scale only and storm surge was later added. The SS scale does not take into account factors that impact storm surge such as: hurricane size (extent of hurricane-force winds), local bathymetry (depth of near-shore waters), topography, the hurricane's forward speed and angle to the coast. This often lead to storms that procuced much
greater surge than the scale predicts, e.g. Ike, Isabel. The surge levels have only been left here as a frame of reference for OEM to convey predicted levels of surge to county residents.

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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000