As if 2020 needed to get even more intense and extreme, weather projections are calling for immense hurricanes this season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced on Thursday that they expect the coming season to have between six and ten hurricanes. Of them, they expect that three to six of those will be Category 3 or higher. This means they will have a sustained windspeed of 110 MPH or more.
The NOAA advises people that live in coastal regions to prepare for hurricanes now. Since the season is expected to be above average in both frequency and strength, now is the time. Waiting until the storm is arriving is a bad plan, the NOAA says. Stock up on storm essentials, make a response plan with your family, and learn your evacuation routes. Importantly, make sure you know where high ground is, and where your local hurricane shelters are. Also, contact a local garage door repair specialist!
COVID-19 Complicates Matters
There is likely no worse time for a severe hurricane season to hit the US. Currently, the country is in the grips of a pandemic that has claimed over 100,000 lives in a matter of months. Moreover, basic travel and commerce has been severely interrupted by the pandemic. Even in ideal conditions, things would be tough for the average American during a widespread public health crisis.
Pile on top of that sustained wind speeds and driving hurricane rains, and you have a recipe for disaster. As people evacuate hurricane areas and flee to shelters, public officials fear that social distancing will not be a major concern of evacuees. People fleeing for their very lives don’t tend to get picky over where they hunker down to wait out the storm.
Increasing Hurricane Intensity Worries Climate Scientists
Some climate scientists speculate that the increased frequency and intensity of severe weather conditions links to climate change. Hurricane season is no different. Many proponents of a widespread climate response point to ever more dangerous hurricane seasons. If severe hurricanes continue battering America’s coastlines, the damage in property value alone will be enormous.
That’s not to mention the lives lost to floodwaters and storms. Moreover, the public health risks, which are higher than ever, remains a concern. Even in normal conditions, a hurricane and flooding can cause sewage lines to burst, presenting a public health hazard. Combining that with a national pandemic only increases fears of disease outbreak. Weather and health officials are taking steps to prevent a worst-case scenario even now.