Silver Spring, MD, May 19, 2011 -- Administrator Craig Fugate addresses reporters gathered for a press conference to release the 2011 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane outlook.
With the official start of hurricane season just 13 days away, today the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released its annual hurricane outlook, which predicts how many named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes we can expect to see in the coming months.
So what can we expect this year?
An above-normal season, according to NOAA scientists. Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1 and runs through November 30, we could see:
- 12-18 named storms, which means storms with winds of 39 miles per hour or higher;
- 6 to 10 of these storms could become hurricanes, which means winds of 74 mph or higher;
- And 3 to 6 of these hurricanes could become major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5), which means winds of 111 mph or higher.
Each of these ranges has a 70 percent likelihood, and indicate that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
So what does this mean for you, the public?
Well, despite also experiencing an active hurricane season last year, the U.S. has been lucky for the past few years – with no major hurricanes making landfall. But we know we can’t count on luck to get us through this season.
We all need to be prepared. Now is the time, if you haven’t already, to get your plan together for what you and your family would do if a hurricane or other disaster strikes.
Visit ready.gov to learn how to get a kit, make a plan, and be informed. And if you’re a small business owner, visit ready.gov/business to ensure that your business is prepared for a disaster.
The tornadoes that devastated the South and the large amount of flooding we’ve seen this spring should serve as a reminder to all of us that disasters can happen anytime and anywhere. As we move into this hurricane season it’s important to remember that the federal government is just part of an emergency management team that includes the entire federal family, state, local and tribal governments, the private sector and most importantly the public.
You’ll hear more from FEMA and NOAA over the coming days and weeks as we continue doing our part to get ready for hurricane season. And remember – next week, May 22-28, is National Hurricane Preparedness Week.
So do your part to help the rest of the team by getting ready. And help us spread the word.