We are officially one month away from the official start of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. With the season around the corner, this week is Hurricane Preparedness Week for the country.
Here in the Tennessee Valley, while we don’t experience direct impacts from tropical systems, we do face indirect impacts like rain, flooding and tornadoes. It’s important to be prepared. The first part of this week is determining your area’s risk in regard to tropical storms. Areas prone to see the worst impact from Atlantic Basin storms are the Gulf Coast and the Eastern Seaboard.
Once you have determined your risk, you can then come up with a safety plan and put a preparedness kit together. Some important things to include in a safety kit would be extra batteries, flashlights, non-perishable food, clothing and a first-aid kit.
Main Impacts Of Tropical Systems In The Tennessee Valley
As mentioned above, we typically don’t experience direct impacts from tropical systems but they could still lead to problems for the area. The main threats include strong winds, flooding and tornadoes. During the season, the Atlantic Basin averages 14 named storms, seven of which are hurricane strength.
Some of the memorable systems to impact our area are Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 and Hurricane Danny in 1985. The main threat Lee posed for our region was inland flooding caused by rainfall totals between nine and 12 inches. Rotating rain bands associated with Hurricane Danny led to multiple tornadoes forming, two of which were long-track F3s.
Looking Ahead To The Upcoming Hurricane Season
As we look ahead to the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, the first named storm will be Arelene. Name lists are recycled by the National Hurricane Center every six years, which means the last time these names were used was in 2017.
Last year, there were 14 named tropical systems that developed in the Atlantic, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Last year there were two storms that produced catastrophic damage, Fiona and Ian. Due to the amount of damage and death related to those storms the World Meteorological Organization has retired those two names from the list.