Leading weather experts are revising their forecasts and are predicting a more active than average hurricane season in 2017. IBM’s The Weather Co. now predicts 14 named storms, including 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. Warmer North Atlantic sea surface temperatures, which historically have been associated with more active seasons, have been recorded in recent weeks. This trend, coupled with uncertainty surrounding the development and magnitude of El Nino, could be revised upward again with the next update in June.
Although Tropical Storm Arlene formed in April, the official Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, 2017, and runs through November 30, 2017. And while Weather Channel meteorologists point out there is no strong correlation between the number of hurricanes and U.S. landfalls in any given season, it is always prudent to remain vigilant and be prepared.
Hurricane Categories Explained
The lowest hurricane level, maximum sustained winds are between 74-95 mph. Still considered dangerous but typically no substantial damage to structures other than unanchored mobile homes.
Maximum sustained winds between 96-110 mph. Roof and siding damage can occur; shallowly rooted trees can be snapped or uprooted. Some damage to windows, doors, and roofing materials, but no major destruction other than to exposed mobile homes. Flooding can be expected in low-lying areas.
Maximum sustained winds of 111-129 mph, first level of major hurricane status. Large trees can be blown down; well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage, mobile homes can be destroyed. Extensive flooding can occur inland and may destroy smaller structures. Superstorm Sandy was a memorable category 3 hurricane in 2012. It was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 season.
Maximum sustained winds of 130-156 mph; extensive damage to roofs, windows, and doors, with complete failure of roofs on many smaller residences (mobile homes completely destroyed). Terrain may be flooded far inland. Joaquin was a category 4 hurricane in 2015 with 155 mph winds.
Rare but the most severe, they generate winds of 157 mph or higher and cause catastrophic damage; buildings can be completely destroyed. Flooding can cause major damage even very far inland. Memorable category 5 hurricanes include Andrew (165 mph in 1992), Katrina (175 mph winds in 2005) and Matthew (165 mph winds in 2016).
We can’t predict the first hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. this year, but we can guarantee Disaster One’s emergency response team will be ready to respond if it happens near you. We bring order and assurance to chaotic situations – if you ever sustain storm damage at your home or business, we’re just a phone call away. We’re standing by 24/7/365 at 800-277-4787.