Home Outer Banks, Virginia Beach should prepare now for active hurricane season

Outer Banks, Virginia Beach should prepare now for active hurricane season

hurricane season
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The Outer Banks and Virginia Beach areas could have direct impacts from tropical storms or hurricanes this season, according to an AccuWeather meteorologist.

AccuWeather is expecting a very active hurricane season with 20-25 named storms, well above the historical average of 14 per season.

The record for the number of named storms in the Atlantic basin is 30 set in 2020. There is a 15 percent chance of 30 or more named storms this year.

This forecast is based in part due to water temperatures being much higher than usual in the tropical Atlantic and a transition from El Nino to La Nina which usually encourages tropical activity,” said Thomas Kines, director of forecaster scheduling and senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.

Residents, businesses and visitors to the Outer Banks and Virginia Beach should prepare now for the possibility of hurricane-strength winds and storms.

“The Carolinas are at a higher-than-average risk of direct impacts from tropical storms or hurricanes this season which isn’t good news for the Outer Banks and perhaps Virginia Beach as well,” Kines said. “It would be a good idea for those who live in these areas to have a hurricane evacuation plan in place. Better to be safe than sorry.”

As for other parts of Virginia, Kines said, heavy rain is usually the concern for tropical systems.

“The Gulf Coast is also at a higher risk than usual for direct impacts this summer, and sometimes the tropical moisture from these Gulf Coast systems makes it as far north as Virginia,” said Kines.

“While there is less concern for strong wind from tropical systems well inland in Virginia, we think there could be heavy rains at some point from a tropical system.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service released its hurricane outlook for the 2024 season Thursday.

Forecasters concur with Kines predicting above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.