Hurricane misconceptions

No Wait Weather

FILE – This Wednesday, May 27, 2020 satellite image made available by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Tropical Storm Bertha approaching the South Carolina coast. (NOAA via AP)

HOUSTON (CW39) – Colorado State University will release their hurricane season forecast this morning at 9AM. Let’s break down some common misconceptions involving hurricanes.

“A below average forecasted season means no major storms…” 

The CSU team under forecasted both the number of named storms and hurricanes in 2005 (year of Hurricane Katrina) by over 50%. 2019 was forecasted to be a below average season and we ended up seeing 18 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes. Hurricane Dorian reached peak winds of 185 mph. Dorian and Lorenzo were rated at a Category 5.  

I live inland, so I don’t have to worry about hurricanes. 

Flash flooding, heavy bands of rain, thunderstorms, volatile winds, the threat for tornadoes, and even storm surge can travel miles inland! 

Tropical storm Lee, 2011, brought significant rain miles inland. It became co-located with an upper level low and brought just as much rain to central Pennsylvania as areas at the point of landfall along the coast of Louisiana.  

I’ve made it through “insert hurricane of choice here, so I will be fine for this one! 

No two hurricanes are alike. Many variables must be considered moving forward with future storms. Things can change IN THE MOMENT. No matter what the forecast says. 

Things to ponder… Urbanization and re-channelization: how have flood plains changed over the years? More people, less drainage. More people, more stuff, more debris! 

“Since we categorize storms by wind speed, wind must be the most dangerous part of the storm” 

Storm surge is he most deadly part. It can go for miles inland not just impacting the coast! 

“My homeowners insurance covers flooding, so I don’t need to worry!” 

False: most of the time flooding is NOT covered and requires a separate plan

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