From Scott Carlberg

September 10 is a big date in hurricane season. It is coming up. More on that in a bit.

Hurricane season is ramping up if the past holds true. “The peak months for hurricanes in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Pacific are August through early October,” says the Travel Insurance Review.  Hurricanes are the most intense of tropical systems at this time of year. Say NOAA scientists, “Tropical cyclones include ‘tropical storms,’ defined as storms with winds reaching 39 to 73 mph, and named hurricanes, defined as storms whose winds reach 74 mph. This peak season includes 78 percent of tropical storm days, 87 percent of days with Category 1 and 2 hurricanes on the Saffir-Simpson scale, and 96 percent of the major hurricane days (Category 3, 4 and 5). Turns out the day you’re most likely to see one of these storms is    Sept. 10,” NOAA says.

Hurricane Sandy off the NC coast. (Image – NOAA)

However, government forecasters now say that the 2018 season could have less intensity than originally thought. No matter, Carolinians ought to stay prepared. Here’s a good reason: The website HurricaneCity ranks cities and islands with the amount of years between a Storm or Hurricane (includes extratropical) coming within or near the core of that city or island. Its data goes back to the 1870s. That site says that the Carolinas have three of the top five places that are hit by hurricanes or tropical storms:

#1) Cape Hatteras, North Carolina: Average every 1.36 years. Recently – Brushed by Hurricane Maria in 2017, this area has probably more brushes than any other area in the top 50 with many recurvatures just offshore. There are also numerous back door systems from the Gulf of Mexico that have cut through Hatteras on the way out to sea some as extratropical. (affected a whopping 108 times since 1871)

#2) Morehead City, North Carolina: Every 1.54 years. Recently – Had a quiet 2017 season, located just S.W. of Cape Hatteras affected by many of the same systems. Alone in the 1.54 group with 25 hurricane hits but overall 12 less storms than Cape Hatteras. (affected 95 times since 1871)

#5) Wilmington, North Carolina: Every 1.72 years. Recently – Had a quiet season in 2017 but remains at #5. Located in the Southeast, North Carolina gets a lot of back door systems and recurvatures just east (affected 85 times).

Hurricane Matthew track (Image – National Weather Service)

And for the record #9 is Savannah, Georgia (pretty darned close to SC): Every 1.92 years. Recently – Affected by Tropical Storm Irma in 2017 and moves up 1 position. This city gets brushed by many systems cutting across from Gulf Of Mexico and recurvatures just off shore. (affected 76 times since 1871). The top 25 include Myrtle Beach, SC (#13), and Beaufort, SC (#25). Other top areas are in the Bahamas and Florida.

When it comes to electricity, what are some ways Carolinians can be prepared for storms? Some items to have ready are:

  • Flashlights – one per family member
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Light sticks
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Battery-powered clock
  • Extra batteries, phone power pack chargers
  • Some suggest that you know how to turn off your electricity, too.

This list is based on suggestions from others – so it is not complete – and consumers ought to check more authoritative emergency sources for ideas. Check your utility website. Here are a few websites: Duke Energy, Electric Coops of SC, NC Electric Coops, Santee CooperSCE&G. Keep an eye on the weather and be “Power Prepared!”

Why a Less Active Hurricane Season Could be More Dangerous from Weather.com

NOAA forecasts below-normal Atlantic hurricane season thanks to El Niño from CNN August 9, 2018

How to prepare a hurricane supply kit: Charlotte’s WCNC-TV meteorologist Brad Panovich posted this story last year.