June 1st marks the beginning of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Overall activity in the Atlantic basin in 2019 was about average with 18 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes. Six of the named storms made landfall on U.S. territory. This compares to the long-term averages of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.
In 2019, Tropical Storm Barry reached winds of 75 MPH and resulted in $600 million in damages. Major Hurricane Dorian reached winds of 185 MPH and resulted in over $9 billion in damages. Tropical Storm Imelda reached winds of 40 MPH and resulted in $2 billion in damages. A detailed map showing the track of all 18 named storms during the 2019 season can be reviewed at the National Hurricane Center website.
For 2020, the National Hurricane Center is predicting an “above normal” hurricane season with approximately 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. However, it only takes one landfall to have catastrophic consequences to electrical systems and equipment.
The NEMA Field Representatives are reaching out to our contacts in the electrical and emergency management industries to remind them that NEMA has many programs in place to assist communities before, during, and after the storm. We are providing information and guidance on related NEMA programs, NEC topics, and NEMA member products that will help save lives and property.
Land-falling hurricanes bring flooding, storm surge, and lightning so our focus will be on NEMA’s Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment guidelines and NEMA’s Surge Protection Institute. As a storm approaches, NEMA will activate the “Natural Disaster Standard Operating Procedures” to ensure the outreach and actions of the NEMA Field Representatives, NEMA Communications Team, and Electrical Safety Foundation International are properly coordinated.
Additional information will be posted to the NEMA Intelligence Portal under the “Storm Recovery Center” and online at the “Storm Reconstruction Toolkit” on the NEMA website.
Below is the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast issued by Colorado State University and The Weather Channel along with the Tropical Cyclone Names for 2020. The National Hurricane Center will issue an updated outlook for the Atlantic Hurricane Season in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season.