MIAMI, Fl. – It’s been an active stretch in the tropical Atlantic and that trend is likely to continue.
“Last four years, we’ve had 14 hurricanes make landfall in the United States,” Dr. Michael Brennan said.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has released their forecast for the upcoming season, an outlook that calls for above-average activity in the Atlantic basin.
The forecast calls for 13-20 named storms and 6-10 hurricanes, 3-5 of which could become major storms.
“We don’t see any signs of El Nino developing in the Pacific, which could potentially help out with producing the Atlantic activity,” Dr. Brennan said.
He leads the hurricane specialist unit at NHC and also happens to be a Southwest Virginia native.
He says you should pay close attention to hurricanes, even though we’re not close to the coast.
“Southwest Virginia is particularly vulnerable to flash flooding, heavy rainfall from that tropical moisture interacting with the topography,” Dr. Brennan said. “You can look all the way back to what happened in 1985 with the flooding there from the remnants of Juan. It’s the flood of record still in the Roanoke Valley.”
In addition to the flood threat, Dr. Brennan says the mountains deal with high wind from tropical cyclones, while tornadoes can form in the Piedmont.
There will be some changes this hurricane season, including an earlier issuance of tropical weather outlooks and the elimination of the Greek alphabet to name storms.