Hurricane season begins in less than one month, and the National Weather Service wants to make sure you are prepared. This week, May 6-12, has been declared National Hurricane Preparedness Week.
Hurricane season begins at the beginning of June and ends at the end of November, with August, September and October being the most active month for tropical systems to form.
Although the ArkLaTex is over 100 miles away from the coast, tropical systems can still have a big impact on our area. Keep in mind, tropical systems can still be dangerous and pose a threat to life and property, even if they are not at hurricane strength.
In the last 100 years, nearly 30 tropical systems have come within 100 nautical miles of Shreveport.
In 2017, Tropical Storm Cindy and Hurricane Harvey impacted the ArkLaTex.
Here's Tropical Storm Cindy's path from June 20-23.
Tropical Storm Cindy produced heavy rainfall across parts of the Northwest Louisiana. Some parts of the area recorded 4"-8" of rain.
Here's Hurricane Harvey's path from August 17 through September 1.
Hurricane Harvey is tied with Hurricane Katrina for the costliest U.S. tropical cyclones, not including inflation. Hurricane Harvey caused $125 billion worth of damage. From August 25 through September 4, parts of Texas saw 5 feet of rain. Luckily, the ArkLaTex did not get hit with the brunt of Harvey. Some parts of East Texas and Northwest Louisiana did experience flooding. The map below shows some parts of the ArkLaTex saw close to a foot of rain.
The biggest threats for inland areas, like the ArkLaTex, are heavy rainfall, tornadoes and damaging wind gusts.
Tropical systems, especially with tracks west of the ArkLaTex, have the potential to drop the most rain.
Tornadoes are also a threat with tropical systems. Tornadoes typically form 100+ miles east of the eye well. This is usually where there is a lot of shear in the atmosphere. Wind shear is the change in direction and speed with height in the atmosphere. Tornadoes tend to form along the primary rain bands and usually weak tornadoes, but are still dangerous and can cause damage.
The strongest winds associated with a tropical system are near the eye wall or the center of the storm.
In 2005, Hurricane Rita was more of a wind event for the ArkLaTex. The image below shows the peak sustained winds from Hurricane Rita. Wind gusts are in the boxes. Center, TX clocked an 85 mph wind gust and Shreveport recorded a 53 mph wind gust.
Preparing for hurricane season is very similar to preparing for severe weather season. It starts with having an action plan and disaster kit.
The NWS also urges people to call their insurance company or agent and ask for an insurance check-up to make sure they have enough homeowners insurance to repair or even replace your home. It is important to remember standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Keep in mind, flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period.
Earlier this year, Dr. Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University released his forecast for the upcoming hurricane season.
He called for a slightly above-average season: 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
An average Atlantic hurricane season consists of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
Below is a list of this year's hurricane names.
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