Hurricane predictions: Don’t panic, just be prepared

PORTSMOUTH, Va (WAVY) — Bare shelves in Hampton Roads are sure sign that a storm is coming and this year the NOAA is predicting above normal storm activity.

Their forecast calls for 11 to 17 named storms with five to nine becoming hurricanes; two to four of which would become major hurricanes. Those predictions could cause some to panic. 10 On Your Side asked Chief Meteorologist Don Slater how serious accurate these predictions are.

“The long range hurricane predictions are experimental. I do not base what I do on any of this,” says Slater.

WAVY 10 Hurricane Guide

And why not? Well lets go back in time to 25 years ago this coming August. Hurricane Andrew, the most destructive hurricane in U.S. history, came during a below-average season. On the contrary in 2010 there were 19 named storms and not a single hurricane made landfall in the U.S.

But, there was the 2005 hurricane season.

“That was the craziest year on record because we went through all of the hurricane names, all the way through Wilma. Then we had to go through Greek alphabet names: Alpha on through Zeta,” says Slater.

There were 27 named storms that year and one of them was Katrina. The bottom line Slater insists is it only takes one, “If it hits here it’s obviously a big deal.”

That is why the Super Doppler 10 Weather Team warns you should not panic, but you should prepare.