2019 Hurricane Outlook Season
UPDATE: August 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook
Forecasters for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) monitoring oceanic and atmospheric patterns say conditions are now more favorable for above-normal hurricane activity since El Nino has ended. Two named storms have formed so far this year and the peak months of hurricane season, August through October, are underway. Seasonal forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center have increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45% (up from 30% from the outlook issued in May). The likelihood of near-normal activity is 35%, and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20%.
Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over the water and move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on Saturday, June 1, 2019 and lasts until Saturday, November 30, 2019. The peak of hurricane season for Anne Arundel County is between mid-August to late October.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year. For 2019, NOAA predicts a likely range of 9 to 15 named storms, of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes, including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5).
“With the 2019 hurricane season upon us, NOAA is leveraging cutting-edge tools to help secure Americans against the threat posed by hurricanes and tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Pacific,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Throughout hurricane season, dedicated NOAA staff will remain on alert for any danger to American lives and communities.”
The 2019 hurricane season marks the first time NOAA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites includes three operational next-generation satellites. Unique and valuable data from these satellites feed the hurricane forecast models used by forecasters to help users make critical decisions days in advance. For NOAA’s full 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook, visit their website.
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2019 Atlantic seasonal outlook in August just prior to the historical peak of the season.
Tropical Storm/Hurricane Season Watches and Warnings
Watches: Listen closely to instructions from local officials on TV, radio, cell phones or other computers for instructions from local officials. Evacuate if told to do so.
|Storm Surge Watch: There is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 48 hours.|
|Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible within your area. Because it may not be safe to prepare for a hurricane once winds reach tropical storm force, The NHC issues hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical storm-force winds.|
|Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.|
Warnings: Listen closely to instructions from local officials on TV, radio, cell phones or other computers for instructions from local officials.Evacuate immediately if told to do so.
|Storm Surge Warning: There is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 36 hours. If you are under a storm surge warning, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.|
|Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected somewhere within the specified area. NHC issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance of tropical storm-force winds to give you time to complete your preparations. All preparations should be complete. Evacuate immediately if so ordered.|
|Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within your area within 36 hours.|
|Extreme Wind Warning: Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour. Take immediate shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.|
Where should I go to find out what is happening locally?
When severe weather is forecast, it is important for citizens and business owners to monitor the situation and act proactively to protect themselves, their families, and their property. Local officials have a variety of ways to get information to the public. Tune into the following:
Television/Cable: WBAL, WMAR, WJZ, WBFF, Anne Arundel County Community TV
Radio: WYRE 810 AM, WBAL 1090 AM, WNAV 1430 AM, WYPR 88.1 FM, El Zol 99.1 FM, WTOP 103.5 FM, WFSI 107.9 FM
NOAA Weather Radio: 162.400 mHz (SAME Code 024003) Battery-Powered with extra batteries or Hand-Cranked Radio
CivicReady©: Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis utilize an emergency and general notification system, CivicReady©, to send notifications to the public. If you would like to receive notifications, please click here to sign-up today.
What you should do to be prepared for a Tropical Storm or Hurricane:
Get ready for hurricanes and severe weather with an Emergency Supply Kit that includes at least three days of food and water. Having your supplies stored in one place will give you peace of mind if you need to take shelter or evacuate. Everything will already be ready for you!
When located in a building
- Close storm shutters, stay away from windows
- Prior to power loss, turn your freezer and refrigerator to the coldest setting
- Charge cell phones in case of power loss
- Shelter-in-place until further notice
- Go to a preselected room to seek shelter above ground level
When located in a vehicle
- Stock your vehicle with an emergency kit and spare clothes
- Keep the gas tank at least half full
- Evacuate when officials say to do so
- Do not cross or drive through flooded bridges or roadways
When located outdoors
- Stay indoors as much as possible
- Avoid entering flood water
- Watch out for debris and downed power lines
- Seek shelter
- Use judgement when considering outdoor activities
- Stay away from tidal inundation areas and beaches
- Avoid low-lying areas that regularly flood
If you have pets, do you know what you would do with them during a hurricane? Prepare for the worst by assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system. Be aware that not all shelters accept pets. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. If an evacuation order is issued, don’t leave your pets behind!
Common Hurricane/Tropical Storm Terminology
|Eye: The roughly circular area of comparatively light winds that encompasses the center of a tropical storm or hurricane.|
|Hurricane: A tropical system in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is 74 mph or more.|
|Landfall: The term used when the eye of a tropical storm or hurricane meets the coastline.|
|Storm Surge: The abnormal rise in seawater level during a tropical storm or hurricane, measured as the height of the water above the normal predicted tide.|
|Subtropical Depression: A tropical system which has weakened creating maximum sustained surface wind speed of 38 mph or less.|
|Subtropical Storm: A tropical system which has weakened creating maximum sustained surface wind speed of 39 mph or less.|
|Tropical Depression: A tropical system in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is 38 mph or less.|
|Tropical Storm: A tropical system in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is 39 mph or less.|