Weather and climate issues as they affect our daily lives. The Atlantic hurricane season is set to begin June 1 and last until November. Here’s our guide to what to expect.
3 January is the date by which the season is expected to end. Storms need to be upgraded to tropical cyclones by 31 December in order to make landfall in the United States. At this time the official La Nina event – seen as a cyclone caused by cold water in the tropical central Pacific Ocean – can set in.
The El Niño event – the opposite of La Nina – is also expected to begin in January. El Niño cools down waters in the tropical central Pacific.
Do not leave pets behind, Ubers for subways
6 July is the date for the official start of the hurricane season. The Atlantic will reach its busiest time of the year around September.
The best place to get information on the current conditions is www.monitor.noaa.gov.
Warning flags warning of dangerous weather patterns are already being posted along the Atlantic coast:
El Nino watches and warnings – El Niño watch is issued when a cooling event, experienced a few years ago, is expected to be experienced again. As the ocean heats up, the clouds that normally form to block winds associated with El Niño are unable to form and the western waves’ climate has altered, causing stiffer winds and conditions conducive to tropical activity.
Hurricane watch is issued when a storm has a 70% chance of occurring within the next two weeks. Hurricane warnings are issued when a storm has a 90% chance of occurring within the next two weeks.
Hurricane watches and warnings are issued for coastal states from Maryland to the southern Florida Keys. For areas less exposed to the weather, red flags and advisories, telling of rough seas and dangerous rip currents are also posted along the coast.
During the hurricane season, air quality and the risk of asthma are monitored. Chemicals and pollutants that are used to help the air move would be dumped as winds blow the pollutants inland. The leftover pollutants might then blow out to sea in the warmer waters, causing problems for marine wildlife and people alike.
The number of weather and climate-related events reported on Weatherwatch has gone up by more than 300% in the last decade, according to the AP and the nonprofit AccuWeather.
Watching for natural disasters
Natural disasters have become more frequent and have their own categories. There are 12 events that are categorised as tropical cyclones or hurricanes, such as Isaac and Dorian. These are common causes of weather change, such as hurricanes that dump rain on the Midwest and the west coast.
Hurricanes and tropical cyclones can also cause droughts in the West and bringing drought conditions to coastal areas of the US and its neighbours.
Threats from climate change
The frequency of natural disasters caused by climate change is being monitored in an effort to advise government departments and other organisations as the effects of climate change continue to unfold. To date there have been 75 weather-related extreme events that were caused by climate change, according to Climate Impact Lab. Scientists believe that climate change will bring increasingly extreme weather events that will bring infrastructure along with them.
Another priority for authorities is to understand the damage being done in the wake of severe storms. A report found that Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012 were not properly assessed. This means that the damage caused by the two storms, whilst being covered by insurance, would not have been fully assessed. The lesson was that accurate analysis of storm damage impacts is necessary.