Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 6, 2019, inundated Ocracoke from which is still recovering. NOAA photo

With our area’s susceptibility to tropical systems, preparation each year is crucial, says the National Weather Service. 

It only takes one storm to make an impact on our lives, said Erik Heden, warning coordination meteorologist, with the NWS in Morehead City. 

National Hurricane Preparedness Week is now until May 6,” Heden said in a press release, and it is a way to reinforce what one should do to prepare for each hurricane season.”  

“While many of us have experience with hurricanes, we must remember people continue to relocate to our area each year and they may not have ANY experience with hurricanes,” Heden said.“We will continue to stress that any tropical system is dangerous and don’t focus on just the category but all five impacts that are possible with any tropical system.”

The primary hazards from tropical cyclones (which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents.

Details about these threats and more can be found at the NWS revamped website that will be a valuable resource throughout the entire season.

The website has additional graphics and information in Spanish and for the deaf and hard of hearing community.

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) website is  

The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The areas covered include the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

Hurricanes are rated according to intensity of sustained winds on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The 1-5 scale estimates potential property damage.

A Category 3 or higher is considered a major hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center advises preparedness:

  • A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that a region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.
  • hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected within 36 hours.

The Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project team predicts a “slightly below-normal” Atlantic hurricane season. 

The team forecasts 13 named storms, including six hurricanes, two of which will be major hurricanes.

2023 Atlantic storm names are as follows.

  • Arlene
  • Bret
  • Cindy
  • Don
  • Emily
  • Franklin
  • Gert
  • Harold
  • Idalia
  • Jose
  • Katia
  • Lee
  • Margot
  • Nigel
  • Ophelia
  • Philippe
  • Rina
  • Sean
  • Tammy
  • Vince
  • Whitney
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