2017 Hurricane Season Outlook and Travel Tips

The Atlantic hurricane season started yesterday, June 1st and will last through November 30th, with a peak between mid-August and October. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this year’s hurricane season is likely to be an over-active season. 


A typical hurricane season has about 12 named storms, of which about 6 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). This year, the NOAA expects between 11 and 17 named stormed to happen, including up to 9 hurricanes and up to 4 major hurricanes.

According to Gerry Bell, NOAA’s lead season hurricane forecaster, this “outlook reflects our expectations of a weak or non-existent El Nino.” Strong El Ninos typically suppress the development of hurricanes over the Atlantic Ocean, so the predictions for a very weak El Nino points to greater storm and hurricane activity this year. 
NOAA also issued an outlook for the Pacific hurricane season which lasts from May 15th to November 30th. For this region as well, a near- or above-normal season is predicted. The Pacific outlook calls for 14 to 20 named storms, of which up to 11 are expected to become hurricanes, including up to 7 major hurricanes. NOAA will update these outlooks in early August, just prior to the peak of the season.


If you are planning to travel to a destination prone to storms, here are some tips to protect yourself and your family:
- Keep an eye on the National Hurricane Center’s website and monitor your travel destination. 
- If possible, make flexible travel plans that you can change – you may need to make changes to your trip or even reschedule it entirely.
- If a storm is on the horizon, call your airline to find out whether your flights are delayed or canceled. Also contact your hotel, resort, cruise or travel agents to confirm your travel plans.
- Download a weather radar app on your phone to monitor the situation.
- If a hurricane hits, remember that fierce winds are not the only thing you should worry about. Flooding is actually a more dangerous aspect of most hurricanes.
- Listen to your hotel’s staff who should have a plan in place and will probably ask guests to gather in an event room without windows. By staying in your room, you run the risk of getting hit with breaking window glass. If you do not have the time to check with the staff, seek shelter in any interior rooms such as a bathroom or a stairwell.
Posted: 6/2/2017 4:25:10 PM