Hurricane season, for the average person, brings a sense of fear, thinking of past devastating storms like Katrina, Andrew, and Hugo. But despite the dangers and destruction caused every year by Hurricanes, for the surfer along the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf of Mexico, or Caribbean, hurricane season brings along excitement; Excitement for the possibility of long period swells that are rarely seen during the rest of the year. While many have spent the winter months reminiscing of such warm water paradises, today, June 1st, marks the official start of the 2009 Atlantic Tropical Season.
So, now that Hurricane Season has begun, what do you do to prepare?
Well, you check the Swellinfo Hurricane Center of course. The Swellinfo Hurricane Center tracks all of the current storms, depressions, and investigations. You can also view the Tropical Outlook forecasts and discussions from National Hurricane Center forecasters. And now that Hurricane Season has begun, if there are any active storms, they will be listed on the bottom of every surf forecast page.
So, how is this year looking?
Dr. Gray from Colorado State University is the leader in extended range seasonal tropical forecasts, and is predicting this year to be an average year for storms. The latest forecast by Gray's team, on April 9, predicts there to be 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. These average numbers are largely based on a neutral El Nino index, and below average tropical Atlantic ocean temperatures. It is important to note, that quantity does not necessarily mean quality for surfing conditions. So, if we see 12 storms that ride along the coast and curve out to sea, then we will all be stoked.
Have a safe and swell filled Hurricane Season!