NOAA predicts active Hurricane season

August 5, 2010 3:56:28 PM PDT
Despite the somewhat slow start to the 2010 hurricane season, government forecasters are warning citizens not to be fooled by the relative calm.

The Heart of Carolina is under a tropical alert as officials says that conditions are still ripe for a very active peak season.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration initially predicted between 14 and 23 named storms and 14 hurricanes. They expected to classify somewhere between three and seven of the hurricanes as "major storms."

The NOAA downgraded that forecast Thursday, but just slightly. They are now calling for four to six major hurricanes.

"We're just getting ready for, what we believe is inevitable," Division of Emergency Management Director Doug Hoell said. "I mean, sooner or later it's going to happen."

The Atlantic Ocean has produced two tropical storms and one hurricane so far this season.

North Carolina officials say they are ready to handle any hurricane if it hits, and the national weather service says that just might happen this hurricane season.

In their updated hurricane outlook, forecasters say they are 90 percent sure this season will still be busier than normal, maybe even the most active to date.

"We'll need to be prepared any season, whether it's forecasted to be less active than normal or more active than normal because it only takes one to make an impact on people's lives and change people's lives forever," NOAA meteorologist Darrin Figursky said.

The National Weather Service says there are a number of reasons for the high activity, including a hotter Atlantic Ocean.

The State Office of Emergency Management says if that leads to a major hurricane, they will be ready thanks to Floyd in 1999.

"For us in North Carolina, Hurricane Floyd was like Hurricane Katrina was to the Gulf region and the things that we've learned, we have been able to build capability to address," Hoell said.

The state conducts routine hurricane exercises to prepare for disaster.

"We have two warehouses that are stocked with resources and ready for deployment," Hoell said. "We have built multiple mission-ready capabilities in the state, both national guard assets and other state agency assets and local government assets that are packed and ready to respond to emergency disasters."

Officials say that everyone, including individual citizens should have a plan for a hurricane disaster.


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