Today’s Topic: Weather experts revise hurricane forecast as season enters peak period

by | Aug 21, 2012

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler sits down each week with Southern Farm Network’s Rhonda Garrison to discuss “Today’s Topic.”

Southern Farm Network logoWith the Atlantic hurricane season entering its peak period, National Weather Service forecasters said recently that wind patterns and above-normal water temperatures in the Atlantic had prompted them to increase their estimate of the number of storms that will form. The forecast now calls for 12 to 17 named storms and five to eight hurricanes. As many as three of those storms could be major hurricanes. Previous forecasts predicted there would be nine to 15 named storms.

Just last year, North Carolina was rudely reminded what a hurricane can do, Troxler says. Hurricane Irene hit the state Aug. 27, 2011, causing death and destruction. Corn, cotton and tobacco crops were hit particularly hard by Irene’s winds and rain.

Meteorologists say a developing El Nino weather pattern in the Pacific would help keep Atlantic storms from striking the U.S. coast because it strengthens the vertical wind shear over the Atlantic, which can rip storms apart. But, forecasters don’t expect El Nino to have a big influence until later in the hurricane season, which lasts until Nov. 30.

Troxler says farmers need to stay vigilant and be prepared.

Click below to listen to the Commissioner and Rhonda discuss this updated hurricane forecast and new ways the NCDA&CS is planning to deal with storms.

[Audio:|titles=Today’s Topic for Aug. 21]

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