NOAA: Below-normal Atlantic Hurricane Season is likely this year

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center says the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will likely be below normal, but that’s no reason to believe coastal areas will have it easy.

For the hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 – November 30, NOAA is predicting a 70% likelihood of 6 to 11 named storms (with winds 39 mph or higher), of which 3 to 6 could become hurricanes (with winds of 74 mph or higher), including 0 to 2 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher, with winds of 111 mph or higher).

The outlook calls for a 70% chance of a below-normal Atlantic hurricane season, a 20% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of an above-normal season. The seasonal average for the Atlantic is 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. The NOAA outlook includes Tropical Storm Ana, which formed earlier this month. Pre-season development is not an indicator of the overall season.

NOAA also issued its outlook for the Eastern Pacific and Central Pacific basins. For the Eastern Pacific hurricane basin, NOAA’s 2015 outlook is for a 70% chance of an above-normal hurricane season. That outlook calls for a 70% probability of 15–22 named storms, of which 7–12 are expected to become hurricanes, including 5–8 major hurricanes. For the Central Pacific hurricane basin, NOAA’s outlook is for a 70% chance of an above-normal season with 5–8 tropical cyclones likely.

“It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm making landfall in your community to significantly disrupt your life,” said FEMA Deputy Administrator Joseph Nimmich. “Everyone should take action now to prepare themselves and their families for hurricanes and powerful storms. Develop a family communications plan, build an emergency supply kit for your home, and take time to learn evacuation routes for your area. Knowing what to do ahead of time can literally save your life and help you bounce back stronger and faster should disaster strike in your area.”

With the hurricane season officially starting next week, NOAA offers hurricane preparedness tips, along with video and audio public service announcements at www.hurricanes.gov/prepare.

Click here for the full article.

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New Tsunami Evacuation App for Pacific States

Residents, emergency managers and tourists in Washington and Oregon have a new tool to help with tsunami preparedness. TsunamiEvac-NW is a new smartphone app that shows users:

• Evacuation zones where they live, work, or go to school;
• Helps people plan evacuation routes; and
• Maps important locations, buildings, and landmarks nearby.

The website and app both report active warnings and watches, provide information tsunami on signs, and explain evacuation and sheltering best practices. There are also printable community brochures available that:

• Map the local coastline;
• Explain the difference between distant and local tsunamis; and
• Provide instructions on what to do and what not to do, among other useful features.

It also displays the locations of fire departments, hospitals, tsunami warning sirens and assembly areas for evacuation. Users may switch between different views (road, satellite, terrain, etc.) and use the app’s tools to develop their own family emergency plan and kit.

This app is available for both iPhone and Android users for free. Download it today!

Source: FEMA