What to make of this year's hurricane forecast

Published On: Jun 01 2012 09:55:57 AM CDT   Updated On: Jun 04 2012 03:28:26 PM CDT

It’s the start of the hurricane season and already we’ve had two named storms. All of the seasonal forecasts predict an almost “average season,” but what does that mean? The above graphic is a good example of why I don’t like hurricane forecasts. How do you prepare for eight storms? Would you prepare differently for this hurricane season if 20 storms were predicted? What about four?

Most people don’t think of 2011 and 2010’s hurricane season as “busy,” but we had 18 and 19 named storms, respectively, but only one hurricane hit -- Irene on the east coast last year. I like to remind people on this day that it isn’t the number of storms that form that is important, IT'S THE IMPACT of those storms. It only takes one storm a hurricane season to be devastating. Twenty years ago, category 5 Hurricane Andrew hit Miami. It was one of six named storms to form that season. In 1993, category 3 Hurricane Alicia made a direct hit on us. It was one of only four storms to form that season.

It's not the number of storms that matter, it's how those storms affect our family, so we should all prepare for one. Does your family have a hurricane plan in place in case a storm is headed our way? Does your family have a hurricane kit, so, if a storm hits, you have at least a three-day supply of food, water and other items? The Local 2 Severe Weather team will do our best to keep you informed, but we need you to do your part and be prepared in case a storm is headed our way.