Top 10 Hurricane FAQs – What you Need to Know

It’s that time again…in less than a week, we will be in hurricane season once again! Today’s blog concludes our series of hurricane related content, but you can always find any of our previous posts on hurricanes here! We’ve covered topics such as how to prepare for power outages, what a “typical” hurricane season looks like, what hazards arise from tropical storms, the effect of hurricanes on mental health, and more! Today we want to focus on some questions that meteorologists are frequently asked about hurricanes and hurricane season.

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5 Things to Remember When the Power Goes Out

Hello, and welcome to week two of our hurricane blog series! Extreme weather (such as hurricanes ) and power outages often seem to go hand in hand. Power outages can have wide-ranging impacts, such as the disruption of communications, the closure of businesses and ATMs/banks, food spoilage and water contamination, and can prevent the use of medical devices. Knowing exactly what to do when a power outage occurs – whatever the reason – can minimize your risk of injury or illness when the lights go out.

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North Atlantic Hurricane Season: Historical Stats and Seasonal Outlook

This week, we are kicking off a four-part series as we approach the start of hurricane season in the Atlantic on June 1. Today, we will be looking at the ‘big picture’, what a ‘typical’ hurricane season looks like, and what the seasonal forecast is for this coming season, which runs from June through November.

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Natural Disasters: The Road to Recovery and How to Give Back

Within the last month, millions of Americans have been touched in some way by natural disaster….and depending on where you live in the country or world, you may or may not have heard all of the details of each. A severe weather event, known as a derecho (checkout this blog for more info on what a derecho is!), took place across the Midwestern United States August 10-11, 2020, wreaking moderate to severe damage. On August 27, Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana, leaving many have been left without homes, food, clothing, and other essential needs.he journey back to any place of seemingly normality will be on the time-scale of years, not months, for many. There are areas that are expected to be without running water and electricity for months. And now? Less than a month after the derecho, multiple wildfires are burning in the west. We care about all those impacted by these natural disasters, and we wanted to share resources to include ways to give back to those impacted by these events.

Lake Charles, LA. Photo Courtesy: Elise Venable (@VenableMBBS)
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Understanding the Strength of Tropical Storms: Pressure, Winds, and Surge

One week ago today, Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana…a community whose residents are no stranger to the devastation of tropical storms. Category 3 Hurricane Audrey caused over 300 deaths in the small town in 1957, and nearly 50 years later, the town was struck again. While everyone fortunately evacuated before Category 5 Hurricane Rita, the storm devastated the town in September 2005. Then, in the midst of recovery from Rita, in came Hurricane Ike, leveling the town with a 12 foot storm surge. Ike destroyed over 90% of the homes within the parish and caused catastrophic flooding in every part of the parish. The damage sustained by both Rita and Ike led to stricter building codes and higher insurance costs, leading to the town’s dramatic reduction in population – from 1,965 people in 2000 to just 406 in 2010.

Credit: NOAA
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Hurricanes and Mental Health

Research shows that mental illnesses are common in the United States, with nearly one in five adults living with a mental illness. Extreme weather events can impacts mental health in several ways, both in immediate anxiety-related responses, as well as chronic mental health disorders. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD; a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically occurring in the winter months) leads to insomnia, anxiety, and agitation. Flooding and prolonged droughts have been associated with with elevated levels of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD). Tropical cyclones are no exception and can wreak havoc beyond the images of flattened buildings, uprooted trees, and flooded streets that take over news coverage.

A home in Gulfport, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. Courtesy NWS New Orleans/Baton Rouge.
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Connection Between Earth’s Temperature and Hurricane Strength

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season officially begins in four days, although we’ve already had our first named storm – Tropical Storm Arthur. Tropical cyclones are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena, and scientists are growing more confident that the increase in Earth’s surface temperatures is impacting the intensity of tropical cyclones. A new collaborative study that further explored this hypothesis was published last month by scientists from the Center for Weather and Climate (NOAA/NCEI) and the Cooperative Insitute for Meteorological Satellite Studies at the University of Wisonsin-Madison.

A NOAA GOES East satellite captured this shot of Hurricane Dorian fifteen minutes before making landfall over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina at 8:35 AM EDT Friday, September 6, 2019. Image courtesy NOAA NESDIS.
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A Look Back at Hurricane Michael

Three hundred and sixty-five days have passed since Hurricane Michael crashed into the Florida Panhandle, causing utter devastation. Michael made history as the first Category 5 hurricane (the highest category of the Saffir-Simpson scale with winds over 157 miles per hour) to make landfall in the Unites States since Andrew in 1992. It was also the first Category 5 hurricane on record to impact the Florida Panhandle.

Hurricane Michael beginning to make landall on October 10, 2018. Courtesy NASA
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Hurricane Dorian: A study in hurricane impacts

At the time of this writing on Tuesday, September 2, Hurricane Dorian is currently bringing heavy rain, winds and storm surge to the Bahamas as it makes its slow trek towards the eastern U.S. coastline. This storm has proven to be very difficult to forecast, in part because of its rapid intensification and slow speed. Let’s look back and see how this dangerous situation evolved and where the forecast impacts are expected in the next 3-5 days.

Satellite imagery of Hurricane Dorian over the Bahamas, September 1, 2019.
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