This is an example of a National Hurricane Center weather forecast (NHC). The map portrays a rough depiction of coastal areas impacted by hurricanes. The photos show a hurricane definition, with red indicating a hurricane alert, pink indicating a hurricane watch, blue indicating a tropical storm warning, and pink indicating a tropical storm watch (yellow). The tropical weather and its expected effects on Virginia Beach and its residents are discussed in this article.
Although hurricanes are the most dangerous to people and property, tropical storms and depressions can also be deadly. Storm surge, inland flooding from heavy rainfall, damaging waves, tornadoes, and strong surf and rip currents are the main threats from tropical cyclones (Cangialosi, John and Franklin, par. 6). While, obviously, the biggest concern for Virginia residents lies along the coast, the storm could also severely affect next week’s weather in the western parts of the state (Kunii, 14). The tropical cyclone is not a point. Their effects can span many hundreds of miles from the center. The area experiencing hurricane force (one-minute average wind speed of at least 74mph) and tropical storm force (one –minute average wind speeds of 39-73mph) winds can extend well beyond the white areas shown enclosing the most likely track area of the center (Cangialosi, John and Franklin, par. 6).
Hurricanes are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. On average 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or the Gulf of Mexico during hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year (NHC). In the Central Pacific Ocean, an average of 3 tropical storms, 2 of which become hurricanes move over the area during the hurricane season. Guam, the Northern Marianas and Micronesia experience typhoons all year round but the season in July through November has a peak from mid-August to mid-September (Kunii, 13).
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) forecast uncertainty is conveyed by the track forecast “cone” as shown on the image. The solid white area depicts the track forecast uncertainty for days 1-3 of the forecast (Cangialosi, John and Franklin, par. 6). The stippled white areas depict the uncertainty on days 4-5. Historic data indicate that the entire 5-day path of the center of the tropical cyclone will remain within the cone about 60-70% of the time (Cangialosi, John and Franklin, par. 6).
In conclusion, the information provided by the image predicts that the hurricane will be more active. NHC data collection a storm will affect Virginia Beach more severely given the next week’s weather forecast. Such news is terrifying given the many hazards hurricanes have caused over the years. Residents of the prone areas such as Virginia Beach should, therefore, evacuate their premises and also close schools. Also, residents should visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for resources to get ready.
Kunii, M., 2015: Assimilation of tropical cyclone track and wind radius data with an ensemble Kalman filter. Wea. Forecasting, 30, 1050–1063,
Cangialosi, John P., and James L. Franklin. “2017 National Hurricane Center Forecast Verification Report.” National Hurricane Center (2012).