2017 Hurricane Season: Have We Hit Our Peak or Are We Just Getting Started?

With a few more months left of hurricane season, we want to chat about some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to hurricane topics…like common characteristics of a hurricane and hurricane categories. We also want to share with you some of our favorite ways to prepare, even mid-season.

You may not remember but the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season actually started out with below average season predictions. However, just a few months later, the latest predictions are now calling for an above average season, with a lot of activity already in the works. So what does an active hurricane season actually mean? And how are hurricane levels measured? This week we will be discussing some hot topics surrounding hurricanes to better inform you of what to watch for and what to prepare for.

Current CSU 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Predictions (as of August 4, 2017):
Named Storms: 16
Hurricanes: 8
Major Hurricanes: 3

What makes up a Hurricane?
According to the Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN), most hurricanes follow one or all of these patterns:

  • Winds up to 200 mph at ground level and more than 300 mph above ground
  • Torrential rains, which cause flash floods and river overflows
  • Storm surges from the oceans, Gulf and coastal zone lakes
  • Tornadoes, spawned as a hurricane moves inland
  • Biological and chemical hazards dispersed by wind or water

How are Hurricane Categories Defined?
Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on current maximum wind speed.1

  • Category 1 — Winds 74-95 mph
  • Category 2 — Winds 96-110 mph
  • Category 3 — Winds 111-130 mph
  • Category 4 — Winds 131-155 mph
  • Category 5 — Winds over 155 mph

So how do you prepare for a season that starts off with predictions of being less active than normal but suddenly becomes active? Prepare. Even in the middle of hurricane season! Below, we’ve listed a few of our favorite articles on just that.

Sources: 
1 http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/weather/hurricane/classification.shtml