Hurricane season is coming. Here’s how CT should get ready. | #itsecurity | #infosec


NEW HAVEN — Hurricane season once again is drawing near, bringing the threat of flooding and severe weather to Connecticut.

At this point, while experts predict a greater-than-average number of notable storms in the Atlantic Ocean, the summer months are expected to produce fewer than in 2020.

But state residents should get ready just in case, according to experts. It’s unclear whether a storm will hit Connecticut, but it would far from unusual, and it’s better to be prepared for the eventuality, they said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced it projects there will be between 13 and 20 named storms during this Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

Tropical Storm Isaias passes through West Haven Aug. 4, 2020.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

Three to five of the storms are expected to be major hurricanes, classified as Category 3 or greater with winds exceeding 111 mph, according to the agency.

There were 30 named storms in 2020, according to Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, the most active Atlantic hurricane season in 170 years.

Between 1991 and 2020, there was an average of 14 named storms and seven hurricanes per year, according to NOAA.

“Although NOAA scientists don’t expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community,” said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator, on the agency’s website. “The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are well-prepared with significant upgrades to our computer models, emerging observation techniques, and the expertise to deliver the life-saving forecasts that we all depend on during this, and every, hurricane season.”

The last official hurricane to hit New Haven was Hurricane Bob in 1991, Emergency Management Director Rick Fontana said in an email.

However, he noted that weather events like Tropical Storm Irene, Superstorm Sandy and Tropical Storm Isaias have caused “huge issues” for the Elm City in the recent past.

Superstorm Sandy hits the Cosey Beach area of East Haven Oct. 29, 2012.

Superstorm Sandy hits the Cosey Beach area of East Haven Oct. 29, 2012.

Hearst Connecticut Media file

Isaias left more than 800,000 customers across much of the state without power for days last summer; the storms spawned tornadoes that left devastation in their wake, felling trees and power lines and, in some cases, destroying homes.

There’s no way to be sure whether Connecticut will be hit by a hurricane this year, FOX61 Meteorologist Dan Amarante said Friday.

That comes down to the weather patterns at hand in a given moment, he said. Sandy, he noted as an example, was headed out to sea before a front to the west pulled it toward the state.

“It just kind of comes down to what the weather conditions are that particular week,” said Amarante. “Hopefully, nothing comes into our area, but we’ll see.”

Such storms are most common in late August and throughout September, Amarante said, as ocean water warms.

Dan Kottlowski, lead hurricane forecaster and senior meteorologist with AccuWeather.com, said, historically, the chance of a hurricane hitting Connecticut in a given year is about one percent, and for a tropical storm between two percent and three percent.

But with warmer ocean temperatures, hurricanes and tropical storms maintain their integrity longer and travel farther, which increases the chance they’ll reach New England, he said.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, sea surface temperatures have “been consistently higher during the past three decades than at any other time since reliable observations began in 1880,” including in the Atlantic around Connecticut.

And, in an active season, the greater number of storms also increases the likelihood of a storm reaching New England, he said.

Massive downed trees line Route 108 in the historic Nichols section of Trumbull in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias Aug. 5, 2020.

Massive downed trees line Route 108 in the historic Nichols section of Trumbull in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias Aug. 5, 2020.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

Kottlowski said he’d be watching a persistent high pressure area around Bermuda and the Azores. If it takes on a more rounded shape, storms through the area are more likely to curve before reaching the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico and instead head up the eastern seaboard.

Kottlowski, Amarante, Fontana and Rachel Dowty Beech, assistant professor and online coordinator of the emergency management program at the University of New Haven, advised residents to create a plan for the possibility of hurricanes.

Dowty Beech said that people can have a significant impact on the damage and heartache wrought by such storms through advance planning.

Beyond putting together a go-bag, with food, medicine, money, water and other essentials, Dowty Beech suggested residents assess their own risk, considering whether their places of residence are in low-lying areas, and think about where they would go if they needed to evacuate for a storm.

By doing so, Dowty Beech said people can ease their efforts to make it through such a storm. Hurricanes usually carry some advance warning, but people aren’t always sure what they’re going to do, she noted.

Tropical Storm Isaias passes through West Haven Aug. 4, 2020.

Tropical Storm Isaias passes through West Haven Aug. 4, 2020.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

“I would advised more communication among families and friends before hurricane season starts, so everyone’s on the same page,” said Dowty Beech.

A plan doesn’t expire at the end of the season, Kottlowski noted. Even if not immediately required, it can still be useful in the years to come.

“All it takes is one storm,” he said. “If people have plans in place, they’re ready.”

Superstorm Sandy at Great Hammock Road in Old Saybrook Oct. 29, 2012.

Superstorm Sandy at Great Hammock Road in Old Saybrook Oct. 29, 2012.

Hearst Connecticut Media file

william.lambert@hearstmediact.com



Original Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

one + eight =