Published: 2010-05-23 14:32:00
Updated: 2010-07-22 10:20:23
Posted May 23, 2010
Updated July 22, 2010
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolinians are being urged to prepare for the new hurricane season, which starts June 1.
The National Weather Service has designed May 23-29 as Hurricane Awareness Week and is highlighting a different storm danger or aspect of hurricane forecasting each day.
This year, researchers at North Carolina State University have predicted above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin, with 15 to 18 named storms. Eight to 11 of the named storms could reach hurricane strength, and there is an 80 percent chance a named storm will make landfall in the southeast.
The NWS says that North Carolina is one of the "most hurricane-ravaged" states in the U.S. Officials pointed to several facts:
Forecasters will use a new classification system to determine hurricane strength this year. The revised Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale will classify storms only by peak wind strength, dropping measurements of storm surges, flooding impact and central pressure.
NWS forecasters said the changes will increase scientific accuracy and reduce confusion about storms' potential impact.
Topics also to be covered during Hurricane Awareness Week are flooding, tornadoes and the science of hurricane forecasting.
The hurricane season ends Nov. 30.