VERMONT (WFFF) – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting an above normal hurricane season, which means we can expect more storms this year. Atlantic hurricane season is between June and November with its peak in New England between August and early October.
âThe forecast for this season calls for 13 to 20 possible named storms, of which about six to 10 are hurricanes. and three in five being major hurricanes, âsaid Scott Whittier, warning coordinator meteorologist with the Burlington National Weather Service.
But Whittier says not all tropical systems make landfall. In addition, the hurricanes that enter the region are usually tropical storms. âThe biggest impacts for us are largely heavy rainfall,â he said.
Yet these storms can be devastating. Heavy rainfall can lead to flooding and erosion of roads, bridges and river banks. âThis year is Irene’s 10th birthday in August. And we’ve seen that all over Vermont, where we’ve seen devastating flooding across the southern two-thirds of the state, âWhittier said.
Robert Faley of the Vermont Agency of Transportation remembers that day. âAll that was missing were hundreds of meters of road, where a stream had risen and had just removed the embankment from the roadway. Bridges have collapsed, âsaid Faley.
Whittier says climate change has impacted the frequency of tropical systems because ocean temperatures are warming. âOcean temperatures of 80 degrees or more are the breeding ground, it’s the energy to power tropical systems,â he said. According to Whittier, the region sees a tropical system every 10 to 15 years.
“Now I’m not going to put on the spell, because it’s Irene’s 10th birthday.” But the statistics say we are due. But then, any year it could happen. But as we lengthen the intervals between a system, there’s a good chance you’ll get something sooner rather than later, âWhittier said.
But we have the technology to know days in advance when a tropical storm is coming. In the event of a strong storm or flood, it’s best to have a plan, obey road signs, and look for higher elevations.