48ºF

2017 hurricane season starts today

Forecast to be an above average season

ROANOKE, Va – It's that time of the year again. Hurricane season officially gets underway today. The National Hurricane Center last week released its forecast for the upcoming hurricane season. Colorado State University, another respected tropical forecasting organization, issued their forecast earlier this spring.

With the lack of an El Niño, wind shear should be limited in the Atlantic Basin. Hurricanes need a relatively calm environment to grow and develop. Sea surface temperatures are running well above normal across much of the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricanes thrive on warm water, typically warmer than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The combination of the two factors has resulted in an average to above average forecast by NOAA and CSU.

The National Hurricane Center will provide more information to its "cone of uncertainty" product this year. Since the cone represents the most likely track for the eye of the hurricane and not the full extent of the storm, the NHC is now overlaying the current wind extent along with the forecast.

 

Starting this year, the National Weather Service will issue storm surge watches and warnings on top of the hurricane watches and warnings that we are used to.

Storm surge is the deadliest hazard in landfalling hurricanes or tropical storms, The National Weather Service has taken heightened measures to highlight the threat.