Hurricane season officially begins; the key is to stay prepared - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Hurricane season officially begins; the key is to stay prepared

Hurricane season officially begins; the key is to stay prepared

SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA (KPLC) -

Hurricane season is now officially upon us with June 1 marking the start of a 6-month period known officially as the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

Unfortunately for Southwest Louisiana the main areas of tropical development in the month of June include the Gulf of Mexico and Western Caribbean due to its warmer waters early in the season, although there are no tropical threats nor areas to watch for development at this time.

Throughout the season the deeper waters of the Atlantic Ocean will slowly warm up and the development region for tropical activity will stretch much farther east off the coast of Africa by August and September.

With Colorado State University’s updated outlook now calling for a near-normal year with the total number of named storms being 14, including Alberto, the University’s forecast now says 6 hurricanes with 2 becoming category 3 or greater in strength.

NOAA’s forecast is about the same with 10 to 16 named storms, 5 to 9 of those becoming hurricanes with 1 to 4 major hurricanes.

It’s important to take these seasonal forecasts with a grain of salt as there is no skill or ability to know how many, if any, of those storms will make landfall along the Gulf Coast that would affect Southwest Louisiana.

We know it only takes one storm, so you should always focus on getting prepared regardless of the number of storms in the seasonal forecast.

The First Alert Weather Team is always monitoring the tropics and will let you know if anything threatens our area.

Regardless of whether our area is threatened or not, you should always stay prepared as there is not always a lot of time to take action once a storm enters the Gulf.

Click this link for a full hurricane preparation guide and checklist.

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