Time to Pay Attention to the Tropics

Hurricane season enters busy period as storms become more likely for Texas.


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Hurricane Alicia 1983
Image Credit: NOAA / National Climatic Data Center

From now until mid-October is when Houstonians should be most prepared for a hurricane or tropical storm. Impact Weather Hurricane Expert Chris Hebert says last year there were 14 named storms with two very weak hurricanes and this season won’t be as active, but could be more severe.

“This year we’re predicting in the order of eight or nine named storms, so less activity. But we may have more hurricane activity this coming season, perhaps as many as four hurricane and one major hurricane this year,” Hebert said.

Hebert says the bad news for Gulf Coast residents is that conditions are more favorable for storms here than they are further south in the deep tropics.

“The Gulf of Mexico is going to be one of those areas that’s a little bit more favorable for development this season because it’s going to be so unfavorable further south. We have to watch it, we could see two or three named storms form in the Gulf and maybe a hurricane or two in the Gulf of Mexico this year,” Hebert said.

As the season ramps up, Hebert says it doesn’t matter how many storms are forecast. He points to 1983 when only four named storms developed, but one of them was Hurricane Alicia.

“Just because there’s not a lot of storms forecast, doesn’t mean you need to prepare any less. You have to prepare every year as though you could be hit because it certainly is a possibility,” Hebert said.


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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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