Forecast! More Active Hurricane Season Ahead With 12 HURRICANES PREDICTED

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Hurricane season has begun, and meteorologists predict a more busy season this year. The Weather Company and Atmospheric G2 anticipate twelve hurricanes and twenty-five named storms.

As many of the world’s waters have warmed, meteorologists and climate scientists are investigating the link between climate change and more powerful, devastating hurricanes. Each summer, the warmer water allows these storms to intensify. With rising ocean temperatures, some argue that hurricanes have more fuel to move from category two or three to four or five.

There is a common misperception that global warming causes more hurricanes, although in general, the number of storms formed each year remains consistent. The distinction that scientists are investigating is the increased strength of numerous hurricanes in recent years.

Pam Knox, an extension climatologist at the University of Georgia, says a hurricane in such warm water causes challenges for coastal populations in more ways than one.

“They will intensify more rapidly, and they’re also expected to move more slowly,” Knox stated. “If they travel more slowly, we will receive more rainfall. It means we’ll have greater winds for a longer period, which can result in more damage.”

Florida usually bears the brunt of these Atlantic storm systems, or they are pushed up toward the Carolinas. Despite frequently avoiding direct hit, Georgia has been pummeled by numerous powerful hurricanes in recent years, including Matthew in 2016, Michael in 2018, and Idalia in 2023.

Michael passed into Georgia as a still-major hurricane, devastating southwest Georgia and the state’s cherished agriculture industry, prompting the governor to call a special legislative session to fund rescue efforts.

Will Lanxton, a state meteorologist with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency, or GEMA, has noticed an increase in Georgia hurricane damage in recent years compared to previous decades, although he attributed this development to chance.

“Georgia has been very lucky for the past, honestly, for a very long time,” stated Lanxton. “We experienced Hurricane Kate in 1980 or 1985, but the next time we witnessed hurricane-force damage in Georgia was in 2016. So we spent nearly 30 years without any hurricane-force effects in Georgia.”

Several elements will influence this year’s season. Meteorologists predict a transition from El Niño to La Niña conditions in the next months, in addition to rising ocean temperatures. The World Meteorologist Association anticipates a 60% possibility of La Niña conditions in July-September this year.

“When we have a La Niña set up, we tend to see more hurricanes in the Atlantic basin throughout the hurricane season because La Niña decreases the amount of wind shear in the Atlantic basin, and hurricanes hate wind shear,” Lanxton explained. “So when there’s less of it, it allows the hurricanes to develop easier and strengthen easier.”

These bigger storms have been able to go further inland, causing more destruction and damage in coastal areas such as Georgia.

With a potentially strong season lurking over the southeast, the state’s major electric provider is preparing to respond to any storm damage or disruptions.

Georgia Power Capital Governance and Support Manager Tom Perkins highlights the necessity of remaining prepared throughout the off-season, stating that the utility can respond to a storm more swiftly if resources are not delayed.

However, part of remaining prepared is determining how each hurricane season is likely to strike Georgia. Perkins stated that Georgia Power is currently revising its strategies and preparing for the upcoming months.

“Every distribution area in Georgia Power Company is going over their respective plans to make sure that the assignments are clear, that we’ve got good backups in place as far as the roles and responsibilities and logistics and making sure we’re ready to go,” Perkins stated.

In recent years, Georgia Power has pushed to improve its efficiency and reaction capabilities, a critical adaptation to the trend of longer hurricane seasons. Furthermore, people are becoming increasingly reliant on electricity, particularly internet connection, which means that when power goes out, the stakes are higher than ever.

“We have seen that customers expect faster service now,” said Fletcher James, Georgia Power’s distribution construction manager. “We’ve seen since COVID, a lot of folks work from home and do a lot of their things from home, so that expectation has increased over the years.”According to

Though Georgia has avoided big hurricanes in recent decades, the financial cost of hurricanes has increased significantly across the country. According to Lanxton, 18 of the 20 costliest storms in the United States have occurred in the recent two decades, albeit part of this data has not been adjusted for inflation.

Increased costs are frequently accompanied by increased damages, which are the result of more category four and five systems wreaking havoc on coastal states. However, as with compensating for inflation, Lanxton believes there will be more damage over time if there is more to break: larger cities, more coastal populations, and expanded infrastructure will allow for more harm to be sustained than before.

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