May 24, 2013 by Canadian Underwriter
Environment Canada is urging the public to be prepared for hurricane season, as this year’s outlook has forecasted 13 to 20 named storms.
Seven to 11 of those storms could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5), the Canadian Hurricane Centre (CHC) said Friday, echoing the outlook report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States.
The forecast also suggests this year’s season, which runs from June 1 to the end of November, will have well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, the CHC noted.
“NOAA is predicting that this year will see an active or very active season in terms of hurricane activity in the North Atlantic Ocean, meaning that we expect to see levels of tropical storm activity in the overall Atlantic Ocean that are similar to what we’ve seen in recent years,” Chris Fogarty, program supervisor for the CHC noted in a statement.
“We’re also reminding Canadians that there is very little correlation between the number of storms that form in the North Atlantic and the number that make their way into Canadian waters, and taking the opportunity to discuss safety measures ahead of potential storms,” he added.
Canada tends to be affected by hurricanes toward the later part of hurricane season, usually around August, according to Fogarty.
The CHC responds to four or five tropical cyclone events each year, with one or two of those affecting Canadian land, the centre also said. Another two or three events threaten offshore Canadian waters, according to the CHC.
Last year, Hurricane Leslie, Hurricane Rafael and “Superstorm” Sandy all affected Canada. A total of six storms reached the CHC response zone.
The pre-season forecast in 2012 called for nine to 15 named storms, though the season brought 19. The outlook had also called for four to eight hurricanes, one to three of which would be major. By the end of season, there were 10 hurricanes, two of which were major.
“It only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it a bad season. That’s why we’re reminding Canadians that, no matter the number of storms predicted for the Atlantic, it’s time to start preparing for hurricane season,” Fogarty said.
The Environment Canada website includes resources for Canadians on how to prepare for hurricanes.
Names for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season include: