By Jim Stefkovich, Meteorologist, Alabama Emergency Management Agency
CLANTON –Monday, 9 am August 9, 2021
NOAA has revised its forecast to indicate a 65% chance of an above-normal season as current and future conditions remain very favorable for tropical activity through October. To date, there have been five named storms. Elsa was the earliest fifth named storm on record in the Atlantic.
We are now entering the height of hurricane season, which peaks in mid September.
As you can see from the graphic above, there are two potential systems in the Atlantic. The one heading toward Florida later in the week has a high chance of becoming a tropical depression today or tonight.
Although it is too early to speculate both the intensity and ultimate track of each system beyond five days, this should be a wakeup call for those that live in hurricane prone areas to either develop an action plan or to review their current plan.
To learn more about developing or reviewing your tropical action plan, go to https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes and https://www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness
Finally, I once again want to emphasize the continued misconception by many people concerning the forecast cone of uncertainty. Hurricane Michael in 2018 is used in the example below.
The cone of uncertainty represents where the center of the storm may go. Actual impacts (storm surge, high wind, flooding rain and tornadoes) almost always occur well outside the cone! Thus, it is critical you keep up with the latest forecasts from your local NWS office or trusted media source to determine how a particular storm will affect you.
Please help us at EMA by helping your friends and family understand the cone of uncertainty and encouraging them to develop an action plan. Never, EVER think because you went through a particular storm in the past that you will be safe in future storms. Every single storm is different both in the amount and location of impacts.