MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Following one of the most active Atlantic Hurricane seasons on record, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) will add and modify updates for the upcoming hurricane season. These are mainly in an effort to give more of an advanced notice of impacts from tropical storms and hurricanes.
ARRIVAL OF TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS:
A pair of new displays will help give coastal residents a deadline on when their hurricane preparations should be completed by. These graphics will be "The Earliest Reasonable Time of Arrival for Tropical Storm Force Winds" and "Most Likely Time of Arrival for Tropical Storm Force Winds."
The graphic will also be able to be over-layed with the "Forecast Cone" highlighting the area of the likely track of the storm and its strongest winds. These timeline graphics will track the storm up to 5 days out.
UPDATED SIZE OF "FORECAST CONE:"
The forecast cone for tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic will be slightly smaller with its margin of error. The cone itself is actually formed by connecting a series of imaginary circles at different forecast times. The size of each circle is set to 2/3 of the historical forecast errors over the past 5 years. For instance, at 12 hours out, the forecast cone at that time period will have a width of 52 nautical miles. At 72 hours out, the storm's forecast cone will have a width of 206 nautical miles. The cone continues to be updated as hurricane hunters and new data on the storm's strength and direction come in.
PUBLIC ADVISORIES EXTENDED:
In previous years, the NHC advisories and discussions on a hurricane's or tropical storm's intensity, track and hazards were only issued for areas in the path within the next 48 hours. This change will allow public advisories to discuss the track and intensity forecast routinely through 72 hours, and allow the flexibility to discuss the forecast through 5 days when conditions warrant.
NHC Advisories will still be issued at 5AM, 11AM, 5PM and 11PM EDT. Additional advisories will be issued every 3 hours as needed when coastal watches and warnings are in effect.
RECENT PRODUCTS ADDED LAST YEAR:
In 2017 the NHC began issuing "Storm Surge Watch/Warning" Graphics which highlight areas along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the continental United States that have a significant risk of life-threatening inundation from a tropical cyclone, subtropical cyclone, posttropical cyclone, or a potential tropical cyclone.
Also last year NHC added the capability to issue advisories, watches, and warnings for disturbances that are not yet a tropical cyclone, but which pose the threat of bringing tropical storm or hurricane conditions to land areas within 48 hours. These are known as "Potential Tropical Cyclones."
According to the NHC, "This option was invoked for 7 disturbances in the Atlantic basin in 2017, with 6 of those eventually becoming tropical storms or hurricanes. The first use of this capability for the United States occurred before the formation of Tropical Storm Cindy in the Gulf of Mexico, which resulted in nearly a day of additional lead time for watches and warnings before the system became a tropical cyclone."
The World Meteorological Organization retired hurricane names "Harvey," "Maria," "Irma" and "Nate" due to the death and destruction caused by these intense storms last year. This is the most names retired in one season since 5 hurricane names were retired in 2005. When the naming list, which is recycled every 6 years, reappears in 2023, the retired names will be replaced with "Harold," "Idalia," "Margot," and "Nigel."
The Atlantic Hurricane season begins June 1st and lasts until November 30th. The WMBF First Alert Weather Team will be hosting its annual "Hurricane Expo" on Thursday May 31st with more details to come.
The Tropical tracker feature on the WMBF First Alert Weather App will be helpful to have this season and you can download it for FREE today