The Atlantic tropical storm season (for the North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico) runs officially from June 1 to November 30. But once again in 2017, nature didn’t follow the official rules, because Tropical Storm Arlene formed in the mid-Atlantic in April. (In 2016, Hurricane Alex formed in the mid-Atlantic in January.)
You may have missed Arlene, but the bulk of the Atlantic tropical storm season is coming, and mid-May is a good time to get ready. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) designated May 7-13, 2017, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The agency identified seven areas of preparedness, one for each day of the week: Determine your risk;
Develop and evacuation plan;
Assemble disaster supplies;
Secure an insurance check-up;
Strengthen your home;
Check on your neighbor; and
Complete your written hurricane plan.
Information on these areas and lots of other information resources are available online at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/hurricane_preparedness.html.
Here are some additional online resources for staying informed during the Atlantic tropical storm season:
Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s “Know Your Zone” Web site for evacuation planning: http://www.vaemergency.gov/hurricane-evacuation-zone-lookup/.
National Hurricane Center Web site for current advisories, tracks, etc.: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/index.shtml.
Two-day outlook for photos of all active systems in the Atlantic basin, online at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php?basin=atlc&fdays=2; and five-day graphical outlook, online at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php?basin=atlc&fdays=5.
Information on storms missed: Advisory archive for 2017, online at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2017/; and links to graphs and other data for 2017 storms, online at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/index.php?season=2017&basin=atl.
National Hurricane Center videos on You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/user/nwsnhc.