WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Hurricane Preparedness Week in N.C.

Posted May 23, 2010 8:59 p.m. EDT
Updated May 24, 2010 8:05 a.m. EDT

The start of the Atlantic hurricane season is just around the corner, and that means we need to start thinking about hurricanes and the threats they pose not only to our coastlines here in North Carolina but also inland areas, as well.  That's why Gov. Bev Purdue has declared this week — today through Saturday, May 29 — Hurricane Preparedness Week in North Carolina.

Many of the seasonal forecasts for this year suggest we're in for a busy season.  Regardless of how many storms form in the Atlantic, though, it only takes one storm to make a mess of things.  Remember, back in 1992, Hurricane Andrew was the only storm that had formed in the Atlantic that year up until that point.

The National Weather Service has some interesting statistics for us to ponder:

  • Nearly 20% of all tropical systems pass within 300 miles of somewhere in North Carolina.
  • In a given year, there is a 1 in 3 chance that the North Carolina coastline will experience a hurricane landfall.  Once in every eleven years, on average, a major hurricane will move onshore in North Carolina.
  • The most active months for tropical systems affecting North Carolina are August and September; although, we've had storms make a mess of things as early as June and as late as mid-November.

The shape of North Carolina and our coastline make us a prime target for hurricanes.  Did you know that Raleigh farther east than all of Florida?  In other words, if you hopped on a plane and flew directly south, you would miss Florida entirely.  The fact that our coastline juts out into the Atlantic like that makes puts the state at higher likelihood of being hit.

Remember, hurricanes can cause plenty of damage and destruction well away from the coast.  Recent examples like Hugo in 1989, Fran in 1996, and Floyd in 1999 caused significant damage in Charlotte, the Triangle, and across the eastern third of the state, respectively. 

Over the coming week, we will share with you additional facts, tips, and strategies for being prepared for hurricanes.  A few moments of thoughtful planning now can save you and your family a lot of time, money, and inconvenience if a storm threatens our area this season.