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7 Points From Rob Perillo On The Upcoming Hurricane Season

06/07/2016 11:00AM ● Published by Christy Quebedeaux

When it comes to hurricane season, people in Acadiana want predictions about the weather especially between the months of June and November. 

But each hurricane season is like a child — unique and unpredictable. 

Acadiana Lifestyle asked KATC’s Chief Meteorologist Rob Perillo, the area’s leading expert on the complex hurricane prediction elements, to weigh in on what the hard-to-predict recent weather means as we approach the most speculated few months of the year.



1. Track the Atlantic Basin

The activity in the Atlantic Basin impacts our local forecasts, but the direct link doesn’t show definitely if there will be an above or below average hurricane season on the Louisiana coast. However, Perillo says it’s of interest to know how busy the Atlantic Basin is going to be.

2. El Niño vs. La Niña

El Niño tells us we will see below normal activity, Perillo says, yet it’s a “big wild card” along with the pressure levels in the Caribbean and the dust patterns in Africa’s tropical monsoon areas. The Gulf of Mexico activity has very little statistical inference and is always a wild card no matter what the Atlantic Basin is going to be, he adds. El Niño can look like it is fading and becoming La Niña, or neutral, but then winds blow stronger and knock down the number of storms and increasing storm sheer, so the door opens a little more for activity in the Western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

3. Watch the Northern Atlantic

The much below normal temperatures in the Northern Atlantic should also work into the Eastern Tropical Atlantic, which would knock down the number of storms perhaps developing in the far Atlantic that are usually the big blockbuster storms. According to Perillo, we are looking at a “near normal hurricane season.”

4. Known the statistics

While it’s been 10 years without a major hurricane striking, statistically we are kind of getting due, says Perillo, but that isn’t a precursor of the future. However, there are a few recurring facts every year: 

  • The average tropical storm hits about once a year with a 90 percent chance of striking. 
  • Hurricanes typically occur every 3 to 5 years. 
  • In a 10 to 20 year period, every other hurricane that hits is a major hurricane. 

“Be aware starting June 1,” Perillo says. “Our prime time is the third week of August through the first of October.”

5. Always be prepared

The last massive storms came in 2005 with back-to-back Katrina and Rita and then in 2008 Gustav and Ike hit. Perillo points toward a year when three hurricanes hit in a 7-week period. So even a massive storm late in the season doesn’t mean it’s time to pack up the generator. 

“Be prepared and don’t be surprised if we have more than one scare,” he says.

6. Trust your sources

More people are using their phones for weather needs and breaking news, so it’s important to understand where information is coming from and how it’s being filtered. According to Perillo, many people are interpreting  models that have no business doing so that leads to bad information, which is why you need a degreed meteorologist to filter the noise. 

“Always question the source of your information,” he says. “Stay with your trusted source and follow that,” Perillo says.

7. Watch Surge Warnings

There are also now surge watches and warnings offered in addition to the services of the National Hurricane Center. For example, if a hurricane hits as far as Corpus Christi we could see surge watches and warnings for a hurricane surge of 10 feet of water on the Louisiana coastline, which would be important to predict surge damage.

Read the full article here:

Life+Leisure, Today, In Print 2016 Hurricane Season
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