Expectations for Hurricane Season 2011June 9, 2011
According to reports, the 2011 hurricane season arrived on June 1 with the potential for above average tropical storm activity. Many of the nation's top weather research institutions have predicted the season will bring about two-thirds more tropical storms than usual.
Specifically, a Colorado State University hurricane forecast team has predicted 16 tropical storms or depressions this season. The CSU team points out that from 1950 to 2000 the average number of tropical storms during hurricane season was only 9.6. However, the CSU team believes that because of favorable oceanic and atmospheric conditions the public should anticipate an above average probability of a major hurricane landfall in the United States or Caribbean.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the 2011 hurricane season could bring 12-18 named storms with 6-10 possibly becoming hurricanes. According to researchers at Tropical Storm Risk, the 2011 hurricane season should bring up to 14 named tropical storms.
Sources say weather forecasters also received a curve ball this hurricane season as two weather phenomena that influence the formation of tropical storms, El Nino and La Nina, have not formed this year. Reportedly, weather forecasters are very uncertain about how strong the 2011 hurricane season will be without being able to draw data from these formations. However, not all Atlantic storms make land and even fewer hit the United States. Hurricane Ike, which moved through Texas in 2008, was the last major hurricane to hit the United States.
In lieu of the hurricane forecasts, sources say that many Texas gulf coast residents are voicing their concern about how little has been done since Hurricane Ike to help the region handle another storm surge. In the wake of Ike's 30 billion dollars of property damage, the state of Texas formed the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District, which includes Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, Jeffers and Orange counties, to study storm surge remedies and possibly put them in to effect. However, sources say the district has not received any state or federal funds and has yet to produce any beneficial information.
Reportedly, the coastal Texas city of Galveston is taking its own initiative to prepare for possible 2011 hurricanes. Sources say the city has begun focusing on safer water supplies and securing the sewer system. The city says it's rebuilding its water waste treatment plant and has implemented a new street light system in case evacuation is needed.