Hurricanes

Car loads onto the M/V Stanford White ferry  at the Stumpy Point Ferry Terminal Thursday. DOT workers and contractors successfully tested new ramps at both Stumpy Point and Rodanthe, which serves as an emergency ferry route after major storms cut road acc
NC DOT

In preparation for peak hurricane season, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has tested out two new ramps along its emergency ferry route. The ramps are located at Stumpy Point, on the mainland, and Rodanthe, on the Outer Banks, a route that would allow access to Hatteras Island if Highway 12 were damaged in a storm.

“We hope not to need these ramps anytime soon,” said NC Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon in a statement. “But if we do, the new ramps will provide the public safer and more reliable access to the emergency route that serves as a lifeline to Hatteras Island after a major storm.”

NOAA

Weather forecasters may soon have a new tool that could predict a hurricane's landfall more accurately. Researchers at Coastal Carolina University say the Hurricane Genesis and Outlook -- or HUGO -- project uses climate factors and data from previous storm seasons to predict where a storm will hit up to five days in advance. 

The new model could mean more focused information when it comes to coastal evacuations.

Hurricane Evacuation route sign
Wikimedia Commons

A new survey will gather information about coastal residents' attitudes and behaviors regarding hurricane evacuations. For the next month, local and state emergency officials will be conducting phone interviews to find out how residents react to evacuations and how to better implement emergency practices, like transportation and sheltering decisions. The study is being conducted for North Carolina Emergency Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District. 

A screen shot from the Surge Guidance System shows storm surge data from Hurricane Sandy, which hit the east coast in October 2012.
RENCI

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill are using storm surge data to give coastal communities a better idea of what they can expect during hurricanes. 

The university's Renaissance Computing Institute, or RENCI, has a network called the Surge Guidance System.  It gathers intricate details of ocean activity to calculate where, how and when storm surge will affect certain areas. 

Pat McCrory and Kieran Shanahan
Gurnal Scott

State leaders are stressing the importance of preparation for residents and themselves as hurricane season begins this weekend.   Forecasters say the 2013 Atlantic storm season could be another busy one.  

Their prediction of up to 20 named storms could surpass last year's 19.  North Carolina leaders stood along with Governor Pat McCrory to say now is the time for everyone to prepare for whatever may come.

Hurricane Ivan
NASA

Forecasters are urging North Carolinians to have an emergency plan for hurricanes before the season starts. 

Hurricane Ivan
NASA

Early forecasts predict an active hurricane season along the Atlantic coast. 

Researchers at Colorado State University expect 18 named storms this year.  They say four of those will likely be major storms at Category 3 or higher. 

William Gray, a professor emeritus in Colorado State's atmospheric science department, says this winter's ocean currents follow trends that lead to active storm activity in the tropics.

"This circulation has been especially strong," Gray says.

Hurricane Irene
nasa.gov

North Carolina forecasters are keeping an eye on Hurricane Irene as it makes its way toward the southeast. The storm became a Category 2 hurricane late last night and is expected to strengthen to Category 3 later today. Meteorologist Katie Roussy says the latest forecast has North Carolina in the path of the storm.

Residents of North Carolina are being urged to get ready for hurricane season which officially begins next week. Forecasters and other officials are using this week to highlight some of things you can do to prepare for the big storms. Jeff Orrock is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh. He says a busy forecast means its time to get supplies like food, water, medicine and batteries purchased and organized.

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