2017 Hurricane Season: Tropical Update
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1st and will conclude on November 30th. Within the first two months, the United States (US) has already experienced “named” tropical storms and hurricane activity (i.e. Tropical Storm Arlene, Tropical Storm Bret, and Tropical Storm Cindy). Meteorologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are estimating an increase in the tropical cyclone activity during this year’s hurricane season.
The warmth of the water in the Atlantic is what has raised the concerns of NOAA and other meteorologists since these conditions have, historically, led to an increase in tropical cyclones. Tropical cyclones are a rotating organized system of clouds and thunderstorms that originate over tropical or subtropical waters, have a closed low-level circulation and rotate counterclockwise. Not all tropical cyclones produce hurricanes. NOAA defines a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38mph or less as tropical depressions. A tropical storm is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39-73mph. Hurricanes are tropical cyclones with wind speeds of 74mph or higher and a major hurricane has a maximum sustained wind speed of 111mph or more.
NOAA believes there is a 45% chance of an above-normal rate of hurricane activity and only a 20% chance of a below-normal season. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms. Typically, 6 of these develop in hurricanes with winds exceeding 74mph or higher and three develop into major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5) with winds exceeding 111mph. NOAA estimates a total of 11 to 17 named storms in the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Of these, they predict 5 to 9 of these storms could become hurricanes and 2 to 4 could become major hurricanes. NOAA has published a list of potential names for the estimated tropical cyclones this season. These names include: Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.
To keep up with potential storms throughout hurricane season, visit The National Hurricane Center. The National Hurricane Center provides several resources to keep you up-to-date. For tips on how to stay prepared during this hurricane season, please visit Red Cross Hurricane Safety, Texas Prepares, Ready.Gov – Hurricanes, and DPS Hurricane Preparedness.
The upcoming Special Session will give the Texas Legislature the ability and time to address the twenty distinctive issues the Governor has identified. Within those thirty days, we will work diligently to ensure the State is taken care of and protected. If you would like to stay informed on what occurs during the Special Session beginning July 18th, please visit Texas Legislature Online.
If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32
Rep. Hunter represents Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 512-463-0672