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Are you ready?

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By Trishna Buch

Although the first official day of hurricane season isn’t until Thursday June 1, Tropical Storm Arlene formed as a subtropical depression in the middle of April in the Atlantic basin, kick starting the season a couple of months early.
Despite the early start, the hurricane season looks to be less active than last year, said weather.com, based on information received from The Weather Company. According to the website, this season is expecting 12 named storms and eight hurricanes, two of which are deemed to be “major”.
According to the Ready campaign, there are several steps a person can take to ensure that they are fully prepared when a hurricane strikes. According to the campaign’s website, they are a “public service advertising campaign designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies”. The campaign was put together by the Department Of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2004.
The Ready campaign states that it is important to “know your local hurricane evacuation route”, prepare your home by securing rain gutters and trimming trees, and to always keep an eye on the news, follow the directions of officials and stay away from windows. The website also states that it is important to always have a kit of disaster supplies—such as food, water, money and flashlights—on hand and to develop an emergency plan. For more information on how to best prepare for a hurricane, go online to ready.gov/hurricanes.
And this hurricane season looks to be an El Nino year, although websites state that this is difficult to confirm.
According to the Australian government’s bureau of meteorology, the El Nino season refers to “a sustained warming over a large part of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean”, while the La Nina season refers to “the extensive cooling of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.”
According to an article by weather.com the end of the La Nina season was announced by the Climate Prediction Center in early February. According to the website, the ending of this season has resulted in warming sea temperatures “in the equatorial region of the central and eastern Pacific” and that the “neutral phase of the oscillation has started”.
The National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration has stated that, while neutral temperatures are likely to hold during the beginning of hurricane season, there is a chance that the El Nino season could return towards the end of the year. However, as mentioned by NOAAA, the information is predicted by computer models that often have difficulty predicting past the spring time because the season is “often a transitional time when ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) events wind down and neutral conditions prevail.”
To learn more about the El Nino and La Nina seasons, you can go online to https://www.climate.gov/enso , click on ENSO Blog and read the piece titled “February 2017 ENSO update: bye-bye La Nina!” or go online to weather.com/news/climate/news/el-nino-la-nina-2017-atlantic-hurricane-season or bom.gov.au/climate/enso/about-el-nino-la-nina.shtml.

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