Public Information Statement
Saturday, May 30, 2009


TODAYS TOPIC:  HURRICANE AWARENESS

THE GOAL OF HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK IS TO PROVIDE EDUCATION
ABOUT THE HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH A HURRICANE WHICH WILL PREPARE YOU
TO TAKE ACTION AS A HURRICANE APPROACHES. THIS INFORMATION MAY SAVE
YOUR LIFE, AT WORK, HOME, ON THE ROAD, OR ON THE WATER. EACH DAY OF
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK FEATURES A UNIQUE TOPIC RELEVANT TO
EDUCATION AND AWARENESS. HURRICANE SEASON OFFICIALLY RUNS FROM JUNE
1ST UNTIL NOVEMBER 30TH FOR THE ATLANTIC, CARIBBEAN AND GULF OF
MEXICO.

TODAY`S FOCUS IS ON BEING HURRICANE AWARE. IT IS IMPORTANT TO
KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HURRICANE WATCH AND WARNING. A
HURRICANE WATCH IS WHEN HURRICANE FORCE WINDS (74 MPH OR GREATER) ARE
EXPECTED TO AFFECT COASTAL AREAS WITHIN 36 HOURS. A HURRICANE
WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN 24
HOURS. THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER WILL ISSUE WATCHES/WARNINGS FOR
THE COAST, WHILE THE NWS IN BIRMINGHAM WILL ISSUE INLAND
WATCHES/WARNINGS FOR CENTRAL ALABAMA.

IN CENTRAL ALABAMA, THE THREATS FROM ANY TROPICAL SYSTEM ARE HIGH
WINDS, FLASH FLOODING, AND TORNADOES. ALABAMA IS BLESSED WITH
HEAVILY FORESTED LAND AREAS, BUT THOSE TREES ARE VERY SUSCEPTIBLE TO
LONG DURATION HIGH WIND EVENTS. MANY OF THE TREES IN ALABAMA ARE
SOFT WOODED PINE TREES, WHICH  ARE SHALLOW ROOTED AND CAN BE EASILY
UPROOTED OR SNAPPED OFF. DOWNED TREES DAMAGE HOMES AND BUILDINGS AND
ARE THE PRIMARY REASON FOR POWER OUTAGES.

TROPICAL SYSTEMS ARE VERY EFFICIENT RAIN PRODUCERS, AND RAINFALL
RATES OF 3 TO 4 INCHES AN HOUR ARE POSSIBLE. TYPICALLY THE HEAVIEST
RAINFALL WILL BE ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE STORM`S TRACK. THE RAINFALL
POTENTIAL IS ALSO VERY DEPENDENT ON THE STORMS TRACK AND SPEED. IF
THE STORM`S CENTER MOVES NORTHWARD ALONG THE ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI
STATE LINE, THEN CENTRAL ALABAMA WOULD BE IN THE FAVORED REGION FOR
HEAVY RAINFALL.  A TROPICAL SYSTEM MOVING AT 10 MPH OR LESS WILL
PRODUCE MUCH MORE RAINFALL THAN A STORM MOVING TWICE THAT SPEED.

HURRICANES PRODUCE A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF WIND SHEAR, WHICH RESULTS
IN CONDITIONS FAVORABLE FOR THE PRODUCTION OF TORNADOES IN THE
RIGHT-FRONT QUADRANT OF THE HURRICANE. TORNADOES PRODUCED IN A
HURRICANE ARE TYPICALLY FOUND IN RAINBANDS WELL REMOVED FROM THE
CENTER OF HURRICANE. THESE TORNADOES ARE UNIQUE IN THAT THERE MAY
NOT EVEN BE ANY LIGHTNING OR THUNDER...AND HAIL IS UNLIKELY.
FORTUNATELY...THEY ARE TYPICALLY ON THE WEAK END OF THE ENHANCED
FUJITA SCALE.

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS PREDICTING A 50 PERCENT CHANCE OF
NEAR NORMAL ACTIVITY FOR THE 2009 HURRICANE SEASON...WITH A 25
PERCENT CHANCE FOR EITHER ABOVE NORMAL OR BELOW NORMAL ACTIVITY. THE
PREDICTION IS BASED PRIMARILY ON TWO FACTORS:  WE ARE CURRENTLY IN
THE MIDDLE OF A 25-40 YEAR ACTIVE CYCLE FOR TROPICAL ACTIVITY AND
NEITHER LA NINA OR EL NINO CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED.

NAMED STORMS            9-14
HURRICANES               4-7
MAJOR HURRICANES         1-3

FOR ADDITIONAL HISTORICAL OR PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION, YOU
CAN VISIT THESE SITES ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA
WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/BMX

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MOBILE, ALABAMA
WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/MOB

NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV
WWW.NHC.NOAA.GOV/HAW2/ENGLISH/INTRO.SHTML

FEMA
WWW.FEMA.GOV/AREYOUREADY/HURRICANES.SHTM

AMERICAN RED CROSS
WWW.REDCROSS.ORG/SERVICES/DISASTERS

NOAA COASTAL SERVICES CENTER - HISTORICAL HURRICANE TRACKS
HTTP://MAPS.CSC.NOAA.GOV/HURRICANES

$$

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