National Hurricane Preparedness Week is almost over already, and not a storm-specific post has crossed our blog (shame on us). With so many newsworthy, travel-related events happening worldwide, the impending hurricane season has been simply a backdrop for more urgent subject matter. But yesterday’s release of NOAA’s storm predictions for 2010 has put hurricanes squarely at the front of our minds — and possibly yours as well.
So in honor of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, we share with you some tidbits both past and present:
- This year’s predictions speak of an “active season” with up to 23 named storms, as many as 14 of which could officially be hurricanes.
- The most active hurricane season on record was 2005, when there were 28 named storms in total. (Fun fact: NOAA only keeps 21 names on its list for a given season — so in 2005, the last seven storms were named after letters of the Greek alphabet.)
- NOAA’s lists for storm names are rotated every 6 years, which means that this year’s list is the same as the one used in 2004. But careful observers will find 4 new names on the list — hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne were so destructive that their names were officially retired. This year, they’ll be replaced with Colin, Fiona, Igor, and Julia. (Wait a second. I think all those kids are in my son’s preschool class.)
So what does this mean for IMT travelers? Well, the original May prediction for the 2005 season was 15 named storms and 8 hurricanes — somewhat below the range of what’s being forecast for this year. That season also saw 5 hurricanes powerful enough to have their names retired. In other words, batten down the hatches and consider insuring any trips you plan to take between June 1 and November 30. Our own President and CEO, Jim Grace, will be at the National Hurricane Center in Miami this week to do a broadcast with Stephanie Abrams, so plan to tune in when the show airs on June 4th. But until then, refer to our hurricane page for general information regarding travel insurance during hurricane season, stay tuned for upcoming blog posts on the subject, and just for fun, go to the IMT page on Facebook to register your personal prediction for the 2010 season. May all your travels be dry!