BOSTON (WHDH) - Happy Hurricane Preparedness Week!  I’m not sure “happy” is the appropriate greeting.  Maybe “best wishes this Hurricane Preparedness Week.”  Anyway, Hurricane Preparedness week officially begins today and runs through May 21.  You can get more information from the National Hurricane Center.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will release their official outlook for the 2016 season later this week.  The forecast from Colorado State University by Dr. Philip Klotzbach with special assistance from the legendary, and now late Dr. William Gray calls for a near average hurricane season.  Specifically, they call for about 12 named tropical cyclones, of which 5 will be hurricanes, and 2 of those hurricanes will be major hurricanes (winds 111 mph or higher).

Amazingly, the United States has not been hit by a major hurricane since Wilma hit Florida in 2005.  That’s a record hurricane “drought.”  But, Sandy and Isaac are perfect examples that strong winds are not the only threat from tropical cyclones and that Florida is not the only state that needs to be prepared.  In fact, more people are killed by flooding than strong winds.


Here’s an interesting fact for fans of the Disney movie Frozen…the name “Elsa” was just added to the list of tropical cyclone names.  The list of tropical cyclone names is recycled every 6 years.  So the same names used last year will be used again in 2021, EXCEPT for Erika and Joaquin.  The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) “retires” names of cyclones that were significant.  Erika was a tropical storm whose torrential rains inflicted significant casualties and damage on the Caribbean island of Dominica in late August of 2015.  Joaquin was a category 4 hurricane in October 2015 that took the lives of 34 people—all at sea—including the 33 crewmembers of the cargo ship El Faro.  Joaquin was also the strongest October hurricane to affect the Bahamas since 1866.  So, on April 25, 2016 the WMO announced those names will not be used again.  Instead, Elsa and Julian will be the 5th and 10th named cyclones of 2021.  NOAA has more info.  By the way, Alex will be the first named cyclone of 2016.  The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1.

It might feel like there is a tropical storm nearby as winds will frequently gust to 35 mph Sunday afternoon and Monday.  However, the air moving in is usually cool by May standards and that will make the atmosphere very unstable.  So, a quick moving shower can’t be ruled out Sunday afternoon.  Skies should be a bit clearer on Monday as the air will be a bit drier.

The next chance of rain comes late Tuesday into early Wednesday.  This is only a slight chance of rain and will really only impact the South Coast, the Cape, and the Islands.  Nothing is expected north of the Pike.  In fact, most of us will go all week without any measurable rain.

The end of the week looks great!  Although a sea breeze will keep the immediate coast slightly cooler late in the week, the 70s return for most on Friday (the temperatures, not the fashion trends).

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