© 2023 254 North Front Street, Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 910.343.1640
News Classical 91.3 Wilmington 92.7 Wilmington 96.7 Southport
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
WHQR's streaming is working intermittently. We are working on resolving the issue, and we apologize for the inconvenience
Hurricane Preparedness Week continues through Saturday. And organizations like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service are using each day of the week to focus on a specific aspect of disaster readiness.

2012 Hurricane season could see more activity, intensity

courtesy: NOAA

An above-average hurricane season – meaning more intense storms – and more of them – is likely. 

That’s a slight up-tick from earlier predictions about this year’s season.    WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports that experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say several new factors are coming into play.

A normal Atlantic hurricane season produces about 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.  

But Dr. Gerry Bell, lead seasonal forecaster at NOAA’s climate prediction center, says storm-conducive wind patterns and warmer-than-normal ocean temperatures are having an effect. 

“The updated predicted ranges are 12-17 named storms, of which 5-8 are expected to become hurricanes.  And 2-3 of those are expected to become major hurricanes.” 

Forecasters also expected El Niño – which suppresses storm development –to be a factor earlier in the game. 

“Now we have a high confidence that El Nino will develop this month or next – but also that its influence on the hurricane activity will be delayed until later in the season.  This is another reason why we’re increasing the likelihood of an above-normal season.”  

Laura Furgione, Acting Director of the National Weather Service, says she worries that because the East Coast hasn’t seen a major hurricane in years, complacency could scuttle plans for hurricane readiness. 

“The preparedness that folks take is often directly correlated with their experiences and the things that they remember… It only takes one hurricane, and we can’t determine where that’s going to be or when it’s going to occur.” 

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.