According tomedia, the Atlantic hurricane season will officially begin on June 1st, which will be a big problem. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Twitter that the hurricane season has officially begun and predicted an 80 percent chance of a tropical low pressure over campeche in the Gulf of Mexico this week.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted last week that there was a 60 percent chance that the hurricane season would be worse than normal. This looks likely to be as many as 19 named storms, including as many as six major hurricanes. An average hurricane season usually consists of about a 12 named storms, including three large hurricanes.
Of course, 2020 is even more special. A COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to make any adverse weather events, from heat waves to hurricanes, more difficult to prepare for and respond to.
“Social evacuation and other CDC guidance, which protects you from COVID-19, can affect your preparedness plan, including what’s in your kit, evacuation routes, shelters, and more,” Carlos Castillo, acting deputy director of disaster response at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said in a statement. “With the tornado season at its peak and the hurricane season approaching, floods, earthquakes and wildfires are possible all year round, it’s time to revise and adjust your contingency plan.” “
The Associated Press reported Sunday that more than 60 percent of the 70 coastal counties it surveyed are still planning hurricane shelters for late May. Shelters and evacuation measures will need to be redesigned to limit the potential spread of disease in typical dense, closed places. Vox reports that this will be a tough test for medical facilities, emergency systems and government budgets, which are almost stretched during the pandemic. According to the New York Times, states also rely on older volunteers, who sit in nearly half this year, as people more vulnerable to COVID-19 stay at home.
Last month, two storms, Arthur and Bertha, were generated ahead of schedule. It’s not just hurricanes that arrive early, but overall they’ve grown stronger over the past 40 years, as a new NOAA study confirmed in May. Hurricanes derive power from heat, and because of climate change, more heat provides them with “fuel”.