BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — We are at the peak of hurricane season. So far, it’s been quiet and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has updated its forecast for the season.
“We’re entering what we historically see as the heart of hurricane season,” said Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) Communication Director Mike Steele.
Time after time, Louisiana has had some of the hardest-hitting storms in late August like Hurricane Ida, Laura and Katrina.
“We usually see kind of a ramp-up period over the next several weeks. Hopefully, we won’t see that this year. But you know, again, we are kind of hitting that window.”
According to the NOAA, conditions still favor an active season with 3-5 major hurricanes predicted in the Atlantic.
“If we have one storm come in and impact Louisiana, that can be a very bad year. So regardless of what the number of storms are, we’re asking people to make sure that they stay vigilant, they stay weather aware.”
Steele said with a slower season so far, it gives them more time to address last year’s disaster.
“There’s still a big recovery process going on. We still have thousands of people that are still in temporary housing situations,” he explained.
Why is this time of the year ripe for a big storm? BRProud Chief Meteorologist Ashley Ruiz said it’s our infamous warm weather.
“You have very warm sea surface temperatures, then you have all the thunderstorm activity and all the disturbances coming off of Africa. The Saharan dust is starting to relax, and then you have all these components coming together to make a perfect environment for hurricanes and tropical storms to survive,” she said.
She also broke down why so much activity happens in the Gulf of Mexico.
“In the Gulf of Mexico, August, September, and even into October, the waters are so warm, bath water because if you think about it, we’ve just been heating up all summer long. The Gulf is getting warmer and warmer as we head into July, especially August,” Ruiz explained. “You have thunderstorms coming off of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, and even here in the Gulf states, and so we also tend to have some low wind shear environments in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico can be the perfect environment, perfect setup for some of these monster storms to develop.”
With almost every big story, there are major power outages.
“We’re talking about extended periods without power. If you have family members or loved ones, you need to make sure they’re taken care of. Now’s the time to kind of talk about those issues and work out something,” said Steele.
To prepare for any upcoming storms, visit getagameplan.org. There’s a two-page checklist in there to help you get ready.