Texas is bracing for what meteorologists say could be the strongest hurricane to hit the United States in 12 years. But Hurricane Harvey may not be the only big storm of the year.
While catastrophic events like hurricanes Katrina, Hugo or (if tracking proves accurate) Harvey tend to dominate people’s minds, it’s worth remembering that hurricane season is far from over—and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says we could be in for a rough one.
In August, the NOAA upped their prediction for a strong hurricane season, saying that as many as five major Atlantic hurricanes could occur this year. The forecasting group said there was a 60% chance of an above-normal season and warned Southern states to be especially prepared.
The average hurricane season produces 12 named storms. NOAA is expecting between 14 and 19 by the time the 2017 season ends on Nov. 30, with 2 to 5 major storms. And while a hurricane carries winds of 74 mph or more, a major hurricane is classified as one with winds of 111 mph or more.
Atlantic storms don’t have to be hurricanes to cause millions of dollars in damages, either. Sandy was no longer a hurricane when she hit the Northeast in 2012, but it brought surges of nearly nine feet to Atlantic City and caused tens of millions of dollars of damages to cities along the state’s shore. All totaled, 186 people lost their lives in that storm.