BE PREPARED! PLAN AHEAD!
A Publication of
SUPPLEMENT • ALVIN ADVERTISER • JUNE 19, 2019
In Fair or Foul Weather... “It’s good to be First since 1958” www.bankatfsb.com
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Page 2 • Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 19, 2019
Average season predicted, but there’s still a risk By David Rupkalvis Publisher While the National Weather Service is predicting an average hurricane season, Dan Reilly said local residents cannot relax. Reilly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the Alvin-Manvel Chamber of Commerce storms can form and turn dangerous in as little as 24 hours. While Texas did not get hit in 2018, Hurricane Harvey is a reminder of what can happen. Reilly said the NWS is predicting nine to 15 named storms with four to eight of those turning into hurricanes. What no one knows is where they will go. “Will Texas get hit? I wish I could say,” Reilly said. “We just don’t have the skill to predict the tracks prior to the season.” While the hurricane season has begun, peak season is still a few months away. “We have fairly low frequency in June and July and even early August,” Reilly said. “In August it begins to ramp up and we hit our peak somewhere around Sept. 10.” While the Gulf Coast has seen some big storms, the largest two date back to the early 1900s when two category 4 storms hit the coast and moved right through Brazoria County. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had a direct hit from a storm like that,” Reilly said. A category 4 storm that hits head on often creates a danger
Dan Reilly, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, talks about the risks associated with hurricanes. Reilly said an average hurricane season is anticipated. (Photo by David Rupkalvis)
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Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 19, 2019 • Page 3
from high winds and storm surge. Other storms bring danger due to heavy rains after the storm, which is what the area saw in Harvey. “Every storm is different,” Reilly said. “But they all have some combination of the hazards — damaging winds, storm surge flooding, flooding rains and tornadoes.”
Historically, Alvin has seen the biggest danger from flooding rains. Everyone remembers the flooding after Harvey, but Alvin also saw the largest amount of rainfall in 24 hours in U.S. history when Hurricane Claudette dropped 43 inches of rain in 1979. Since hurricane names are re-used every
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seven years, Claudette is one of the names being used in 2019. “When people think of hurricanes, they think of wind, but the most deadly area are the water hazards,” Reilly said. Reilly said Alvin has little risk of storm surge since it is 43 feet above sea level, but wind damage and rain flooding are risks.
The key during hurricane season is to be aware. Reilly said some storms get together quickly and leave little time for evacuating. As a result, knowledge is key. He urged Alvin residents to visit weather. gov/houston for more tips and to follow the the local weather specialists at facebook. com/NWSHouston.
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Page 4 • Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 19, 2019
Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 19, 2019 • Page 5
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Page 6 • Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 19, 2019
NOAA predicts normal season with 4 to 8 hurricanes
NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting that a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year. This outlook forecasts a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season, a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and a 30 percent chance of a below-normal season. The hurricane season officially extends from June 1 to Nov. 30. For 2019, NOAA predicts a likely range of nine to 15 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which four to eight could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including two to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA provides these ranges with a 70 percent confidence. On average, hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. “With the 2019 hurricane season upon us, NOAA is leveraging cutting-edge tools to help secure Americans against the threat posed by hurricanes and tropical cyclones across both the Atlantic and Pacific,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Throughout hurricane season, dedicated NOAA staff will remain on alert for any
danger to American lives and communities.” This outlook reflects competing climate factors. The ongoing El Nino is expected to persist and suppress the intensity of the hurricane season. Countering El Nino is the expected combination of warmer-thanaverage sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea and an enhanced west African monsoon, both of which favor increased hurricane activity. “New satellite data and other upgrades to products and services from NOAA enable a more weather-ready nation by providing the public and decision makers with the information needed to take action before, during and after a hurricane,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator. The 2019 hurricane season marks the first time NOAA’s fleet of Earth-observing satellites includes three operational nextgeneration satellites. Unique and valuable data from these satellites feed the hurricane forecast models used by forecasters to help users make critical decisions days in advance. NOAA’s National Weather Service is making a planned upgrade to its Global Forecast System flagship weather model –
often called the American model – early in the 2019 hurricane season. This marks the first major upgrade to the dynamical core of the model in almost 40 years and will improve tropical cyclone track and intensity forecasts. “NOAA is driving towards a communitybased development program for future weather and climate modeling to deliver the very best forecasts by leveraging new investments in research and working with the weather enterprise,” added Jacobs. NOAA’s National Hurricane Center and NWS office in San Juan will expand the coastal storm surge watches and warnings in 2019 to include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition, NHC will display excessive rainfall outlooks on its website, providing greater visibility of one of the most dangerous inland threats from hurricanes. Also, this season, NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft will collect higher-resolution data from upgraded onboard radar systems. These enhanced observations will be transmitted in near-real time to hurricane specialists at the National Hurricane Center, the Central Pacific Hurricane Center and forecasters at NWS Weather Forecast
Offices. In addition to the Atlantic hurricane season outlook, NOAA also issued seasonal hurricane outlooks for the eastern and central Pacific basins. A 70 percent chance of an above-normal season is predicted for both the eastern and central Pacific regions. The eastern Pacific outlook calls for a 70 percent probability of 15 to 22 named storms, of which eight to 13 are expected to become hurricanes, including four to eight major hurricanes. The central Pacific outlook calls for a 70 percent probability of five to eight tropical cyclones, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes. NOAA’s outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Hurricane preparedness is critically important for the 2019 hurricane season, just as it is every year. Visit the National Hurricane Center’s website at hurricanes.gov throughout the season to stay current on any watches and warnings. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center will update the 2019 Atlantic seasonal outlook in August just prior to the historical peak of the season.
Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 19, 2019 • Page 7
Cornyn urges Texans to prepare for hurricane season By John Cornyn U.S. Senator I encourage every Texan to be ready for severe weather, especially during hurricane season. It is recommended that you prepare an emergency kit in advance, make a plan, learn local evacuation routes and always listen to the warnings of local leaders and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. After experiencing Hurricane Harvey, Texans know the force these powerful storms bring with them and how important preparation is leading up to, during and after landfall. Here are six basic hurricane preparedness tips from Ready.gov: • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where
you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information. • Put together a go-bag: disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, medications and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate. Don’t forget the needs of pets. • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads. • Make a family emergency communication plan. • Many communities have text or email alerting systems for emergency notifications. To find out what alerts are available in your area, search the Internet with your town, city or county name and the word “alerts.”
Review power outage plans Texas-New Mexico Power has completed its annual high-level planning due to the possibility of tropical storms or hurricanes affecting its Gulf Coast service territory. “Our teams in the Gulf Coast are very experienced working outages from tropical storms and hurricanes over the years,” TNMP President Neal Walker said. “One of the biggest takeaways from their experiences is that we can never know exactly what will happen, so we have to be ready to adapt and adjust.” TNMP serves more than 125,000 homes and businesses in its Gulf Coast service area, including parts of Brazoria and Galveston counties. Impacts on the system and customers The impact that a storm may have on the system is difficult to predict, but lengthy power outages often can result. Winds can damage equipment directly, along with broken and blowing tree limbs contacting wires and other equipment. Lightning strikes also are common causes of outages. Flooding resulting from tropical
storms also could impact service: • employees potentially could be unable to reach and/or repair equipment. • power in areas with underground service may need to be turned off by us to ensure public safety. Important tips for customers If a tropical storm or hurricane is forecasted to make landfall near you: • Prepare for the possibility that you could be without power for days (not hours). • If someone in your home is dependent upon powered medical equipment, confirm your backup plan at the beginning of the hurricane season and confirm it when a storm may be in the forecast. • Stock up on batteries and check flashlights well in advance. • Stock up on bottled water and non-perishable food well in advance; include a manual can opener. • Make a plan for your mobile phone, including turning it on only periodically if power is out and getting a backup energy source (battery-operated devices or a car charger).
• During and after the storm, do not attempt to walk or drive through flood waters. One foot of
moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Turn Around. Don’t Drown.
For more information about planning ahead for natural disasters, visit Ready.gov.
Page 8 • Hurricane Guide • Supplement to the Alvin Advertiser • June 19, 2019
Bush: Get ready now Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush is encouraging all Texans to prepare for the 2019 Hurricane Season, which runs through Nov. 30. “Every Texan should prepare for hurricane and storm season,” said Bush. “As we all know in Texas, it’s not a matter of if, but when, the next storm will hit. It is not just coastal Texans at risk as flooding happens in almost all parts of Texas. Know your risk, protect your home, plan your supplies and evacuation route now. During an emergency, there’s no time to waste. Do your part to keep yourself, your family, pets and your property protected.” The GLO encourages all Texans to prepare for Hurricane Season 2019 by doing the following: • Know Your Risk - Sign up for your community’s emergency warning system. The Emergency Alert System and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. • Gather Supplies - Keep in mind each person’s needs, gathering supplies for at least three days. Stock up on items such as food and water, non-perishable foods, first-aid supplies, prescriptions, pet supplies, flashlights and batteries. • Secure Documents - Remember to secure copies of important personal documents. Filing for government assistance requires documentation.
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