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When a storm threatens, what should you do? Hurricane preparedness is merely a matter of planning ahead. Hurricane threats come in many forms, including storm surge, high winds, tornadoes, and flooding.

Helpful Links

Standby Generators - from whole house to portable generators
Emergency Supplies - supplies you could need in a hurricane
Hurricane Shutters - shutters to protect your home
Hurricane Lamps - hurricane lamps

Before the Hurricane Season Begins

Develop a plan. Know your homes vulnerability to the threats above - surge, wind, and flooding. Check your supplies - water, batteries, food. For information on developing a Hurricane Supply kit, see our page on that topic. Know where you can evacuate to - friends, relatives, a hotel?

Know when to take action - Watch vs Warning

WATCH: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the WATCH, usually within 36 hours.
WARNING: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the WARNING, usually within 24 hours. Remember that there is no such thing as a "minor hurricane." Category 1 and 2 hurricanes still can do significant damage.

Prepare before a Watch or Warning is issued and be ready to evacuate when the Watch comes or earlier if so instructed.

An Approaching Storm

As a storm approaches, you should prepare your house and your yard. Some things to consider:

  • Turn down the temperature on your freezer and refrigerator as low as possible. This will buy you more time in the event of a power loss. 24 to 48 hours before will cool the food. Avoid opening them whenever possible. If you are evacuating, probably unnecessary.
  • Before you evacuate, call at least one person out of state to let them know your plans.
  • Ensure that your Hurricane Emergency Kit is fully stocked.
  • Charge electronic devices, for example, computers, cell phones, rechargeable batteries, razors, and the like.
  • Make extra ice, bag it - this will be useful to use and to keep the freezer cold.
  • Do the same with your home air conditioner. It gets very hot and very humid very quickly. If you are evacuating, this is not necessary.
  • If you have a generator, do NOT run it inside or near the house. But make sure you have fuel to run it.
  • Make sure your car has fuel.
  • Pick up yard debris - furniture, tools, decorative items, branches - anything loose that could become a missile. We have placed furniture in the pool upon occasion.
  • Secure boats, trailers, campers, RVs, and the like in the safest place you can find. Tie them down, anchor them, or however you can best secure them. But, take into account that there may be a storm surge.
  • Secure all doors and windows with locks, and shutters if available. Plywood, properly secured, can be effective. Don't forget your garage doors.
  • Move items that may be damaged by water to higher areas of your home if you can not take them with you if evacuating. Move them away from windows in case they are broken.
  • Huge items must even be secured in big storms. An engine block was found 40 or 50 feet up in a pine tree in the Homestead (actually Redlands) area after Andrew. Don't think that something is too big to be moved by the wind.
  • Re-check tie-downs.
  • Bring cars, bikes, scooters and anything like that into your garage if possible.
  • Bring in grills or other cooking items.
  • Bring in hoses, trash cans, hot tub covers, wind-chimes, plants.
  • Caulk and fill bathtubs - extra water comes in handy for toilets and more..
  • It may sound strange, but do your laundry, dishes, and take a shower. Why? Because if you lose power, having as much clean as possible will make a big difference.
  • Check if your pool pump should be on or off.
  • Close and fasten gates so they don't swing.
  • Close chimney flues.
  • Close/latch inside doors and cabinets.

     

    If you have time, help your neighbors. Debris in their yards can easily impact your home and yard.

    During a storm.


  • Stay inside, away from windows
  • Be alert for tornadoes
  • Stay away from flood waters and storm surge. It can be deceptively strong.
  • Be aware of the eye. It may be calm, but winds can and will pick up quickly and could catch you outside.
  • Un-plug electronic devices that are not in use to avoid surge damage. This is less likely that during afternoon thunderstorms because lightening is rare in a hurricane, but it is better to be safe.
  • After a Storm

  • Know power safety - avoid downed lines
  • Know food safety - what is good and for how long.
  • Chain saw safety is critical
  • Generator safety is important too
  • Water treatment - whether water needs to be boiled or not.
  • Listen to local officials
  • Use flashlights instead of candles
  • Inspect your home for damage.
  • Stay off roads as much as possible
  • You may need to super-chlorinate your pool
  • Boat Prep

    1. Move life jackets and first aid kits to house
    2. Remove cushions and lose items (e.g. boat tops) and move to garage
    3. Anchor hatch covers
    4. Move to maximum davit height, fasten cables
    5. Unplug davits/lifts
    6. Turn off outside electricity to davits
    7. For our Boston Whaler: put in main plug on boat (take out other plugs)
    8. Tighten down davit locks
    9. Tie down boat with dock lines

    Hurricane & Tropical Storm

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    Advisory


    NHC Atlantic

    Active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico

    Atlantic Tropical Weather Outlook-
    000
    ABNT20 KNHC 271138
    TWOAT

    TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
    NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
    800 AM EDT SAT AUG 27 2016

    For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

    The National Hurricane Center is issuing advisories on Tropical
    Storm Gaston, located about 800 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.

    A weak area of low pressure located south of Andros Island in the
    Bahamas continues to produce disorganized showers and thunderstorms
    mainly to the south and east of its center. Upper-level winds are
    not conducive for significant development during the next day or so
    while the low moves west-northwestward through the Straits of
    Florida at about 10 mph. Environmental conditions could become a
    little more conducive for some development when the system moves
    across the eastern Gulf of Mexico next week. Heavy rains are likely
    to continue over portions of eastern and central Cuba today. Gusty
    winds and locally heavy rainfall are likely over portions of the
    Bahamas, and will spread into parts of southern Florida and the
    Florida Keys later this weekend. Interests elsewhere in Florida and
    the eastern Gulf of Mexico should continue to monitor the progress
    of this disturbance.
    * Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent
    * Formation chance through 5 days...medium...40 percent

    A weak trough of low pressure located about a hundred miles south of
    the coast of southwestern Louisiana is producing disorganized shower
    and thunderstorm activity over the north-central Gulf of Mexico.
    Conditions are not expected to be conducive for development before
    this system reaches the coast of Texas on Sunday. However, heavy
    rainfall is possible along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to
    southeastern Texas during the next few days. For additional
    information, please see products from your local National Weather
    Service office.
    * Formation chance through 48 hours...low...10 percent
    * Formation chance through 5 days...low...10 percent

    An area of low pressure centered about 130 miles southwest of
    Bermuda is producing winds of around 35 mph. While shower and
    thunderstorm activity has increased a little near the center during
    the past few hours, any significant development of this system is
    likely to be slow to occur due the proximity of dry air. This low
    is expected to move westward and then west-northwestward at about 10
    mph toward the coast of the Carolinas during the next few days. For
    additional information on this system, see High Seas Forecasts
    issued by the National Weather Service.
    * Formation chance through 48 hours...low...30 percent
    * Formation chance through 5 days...low...30 percent

    &&

    High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service can be
    found under AWIPS header NFDHSFAT1, WMO header FZNT01 KWBC, and
    on the Web at http://www.opc.ncep.noaa.gov/shtml/NFDHSFAT1.shtml.

    $$
    Forecaster Brennan



    Summary for Tropical Storm GASTON (AT2/AL072016)- ...GASTON STRENGTHENS A LITTLE... ...EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE AGAIN LATER TODAY... As of 11:00 AM AST Sat Aug 27 the center of GASTON was located near 28.4, -53.2 with movement NW at 10 mph. The minimum central pressure was 995 mb with maximum sustained winds of about 70 mph.

    Tropical Storm GASTON Public Advisory Number 20-Issued at 1100 AM AST SAT AUG 27 2016
    
    000
    WTNT32 KNHC 271439
    TCPAT2
    
    BULLETIN
    TROPICAL STORM GASTON ADVISORY NUMBER  20
    NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL072016
    1100 AM AST SAT AUG 27 2016
    
    ...GASTON STRENGTHENS A LITTLE...
    ...EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE AGAIN LATER TODAY...
    
    
    SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
    -----------------------------------------------
    LOCATION...28.4N 53.2W
    ABOUT 740 MI...1195 KM ESE OF BERMUDA
    MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...110 KM/H
    PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 310 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/H
    MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...995 MB...29.39 INCHES
    
    
    WATCHES AND WARNINGS
    --------------------
    There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.
    
    
    DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
    ------------------------------
    At 1100 AM AST (1500 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Gaston was
    located near latitude 28.4 North, longitude 53.2 West. Gaston is
    moving toward the northwest near 10 mph (17 km/h), and this motion
    accompanied by a gradual decrease in forward speed is expected
    during the next couple of days.
    
    Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 70 mph (110 km/h)
    with higher gusts.  Additional strengthening is forecast during the
    next 48 hours, and Gaston is expected to become a hurricane later
    today.
    
    Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km)
    from the center.
    
    The estimated minimum central pressure is 995 mb (29.39 inches).
    
    
    HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
    ----------------------
    None.
    
    
    NEXT ADVISORY
    -------------
    Next complete advisory at 500 PM AST.
    
    $$
    Forecaster Stewart
    
    
    


    Tropical Storm GASTON Forecast Advisory Number 20-Issued at 1500 UTC SAT AUG 27 2016
    
    000
    WTNT22 KNHC 271439
    TCMAT2
     
    TROPICAL STORM GASTON FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER  20
    NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL072016
    1500 UTC SAT AUG 27 2016
     
    THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.
     
    TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 28.4N  53.2W AT 27/1500Z
    POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN  15 NM
     
    PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE NORTHWEST OR 310 DEGREES AT   9 KT
     
    ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE  995 MB
    MAX SUSTAINED WINDS  60 KT WITH GUSTS TO  75 KT.
    50 KT....... 50NE  30SE  20SW  30NW.
    34 KT.......130NE  80SE  40SW 100NW.
    12 FT SEAS..240NE 120SE 120SW 180NW.
    WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT.  RADII IN NAUTICAL
    MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.
     
    REPEAT...CENTER LOCATED NEAR 28.4N  53.2W AT 27/1500Z
    AT 27/1200Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 28.1N  52.8W
     
    FORECAST VALID 28/0000Z 29.3N  54.3W
    MAX WIND  65 KT...GUSTS  80 KT.
    64 KT... 15NE  15SE  10SW  15NW.
    50 KT... 60NE  40SE  20SW  40NW.
    34 KT...130NE  90SE  60SW 100NW.
     
    FORECAST VALID 28/1200Z 30.1N  55.3W
    MAX WIND  75 KT...GUSTS  90 KT.
    64 KT... 20NE  20SE  15SW  20NW.
    50 KT... 60NE  50SE  40SW  50NW.
    34 KT...130NE 110SE  80SW 100NW.
     
    FORECAST VALID 29/0000Z 30.7N  56.0W
    MAX WIND  85 KT...GUSTS 105 KT.
    64 KT... 30NE  30SE  20SW  30NW.
    50 KT... 70NE  60SE  50SW  60NW.
    34 KT...140NE 120SE  90SW 110NW.
     
    FORECAST VALID 29/1200Z 31.3N  56.3W
    MAX WIND  90 KT...GUSTS 110 KT.
    50 KT... 70NE  70SE  50SW  60NW.
    34 KT...140NE 130SE 100SW 110NW.
     
    FORECAST VALID 30/1200Z 32.6N  54.4W
    MAX WIND  90 KT...GUSTS 110 KT.
    50 KT... 80NE  80SE  70SW  60NW.
    34 KT...140NE 150SE 120SW 110NW.
     
    EXTENDED OUTLOOK. NOTE...ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 150 NM
    ON DAY 4 AND 200 NM ON DAY 5...AND FOR INTENSITY NEAR 15 KT EACH DAY
     
    OUTLOOK VALID 31/1200Z 34.2N  49.6W
    MAX WIND  80 KT...GUSTS 100 KT.
     
    OUTLOOK VALID 01/1200Z 36.9N  43.7W
    MAX WIND  70 KT...GUSTS  85 KT.
     
    REQUEST FOR 3 HOURLY SHIP REPORTS WITHIN 300 MILES OF 28.4N  53.2W
     
    NEXT ADVISORY AT 27/2100Z
     
    $$
    FORECASTER STEWART
     
     
    
    


    Tropical Storm GASTON Forecast Discussion Number 20-Issued at 1100 AM AST SAT AUG 27 2016
    
    000
    WTNT42 KNHC 271440
    TCDAT2
    
    TROPICAL STORM GASTON DISCUSSION NUMBER  20
    NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL072016
    1100 AM AST SAT AUG 27 2016
    
    A 0954Z WindSAT microwave image indicated that Gaston had developed
    a 15-nmi-diameter low-level eye that was embedded in the center of
    the nearly circular central dense overcast. Subjective satellite
    intensity estimates are T4.0/65 kt and T3.5/55 kt from TAFB and
    SAB, respectively, and the latest UW-CIMSS ADT value is T3.7/59 kt.
    An average of these estimates supports increasing the initial
    intensity to 60 kt.
    
    As anticipated, Gaston has slowed down and the motion estimate is
    now 310/09 kt. The cyclone is forecast to maintain a northwestward
    motion and continue to decelerate during the next 48 hours as Gaston
    moves into a break in the subtropical ridge located to its north. A
    mid-level shortwave trough is forecast to dig southeastward from
    Canada and the northeastern United States by 72 hours, and force
    Gaston to make a sharp turn toward the north and northeast when the
    cyclone is located several hundred miles east of Bermuda. On days 4
    and 5, Gaston is expected to get caught up in the deep-layer mid-
    latitude westerlies and accelerate east-northeastward over the North
    Atlantic. The new official forecast track is a little slower than
    the previous advisory track and has been shifted a little to the
    east, but not nearly as far east as the consensus model TVCN out of
    respect for the ECWMF model, which is close to the previous
    forecast track.
    
    Gaston has maintained two pronounced upper-level outflow jets to its
    east and southwest. These jets are flowing into large upper-level
    lows that are acting as significant mass sinks, a pattern that
    favors intensification.  Although the mid-level environment is
    expected to be characterized by low humidity values of 40-45 percent
    during the next 72 hours, the cyclone will be moving over SSTs of
    29C and remain in a low vertical wind shear regime. Those latter
    conditions, along with the small eye feature and the outflow jet
    pattern should allow Gaston to overcome the dry conditions and
    result in strengthening at a typical rate of about 20 kt per day. By
    days 4 and 5, the vertical shear is forecast to increase sharply and
    become westerly at more than 30 kt, which should induce a weakening
    trend. The NHC intensity forecast is similar to the previous
    advisory, and lies close to the consensus model IVCN through 36
    hours, and a little above IVCN and close to the SHIPS/LGEM models
    after that.
    
    FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS
    
    INIT  27/1500Z 28.4N  53.2W   60 KT  70 MPH
     12H  28/0000Z 29.3N  54.3W   65 KT  75 MPH
     24H  28/1200Z 30.1N  55.3W   75 KT  85 MPH
     36H  29/0000Z 30.7N  56.0W   85 KT 100 MPH
     48H  29/1200Z 31.3N  56.3W   90 KT 105 MPH
     72H  30/1200Z 32.6N  54.4W   90 KT 105 MPH
     96H  31/1200Z 34.2N  49.6W   80 KT  90 MPH
    120H  01/1200Z 36.9N  43.7W   70 KT  80 MPH
    
    $$
    Forecaster Stewart
    
    
    


    Tropical Storm GASTON Wind Speed Probabilities Number 20-Issued at 1500 UTC SAT AUG 27 2016
    
    000
    FONT12 KNHC 271440
    PWSAT2
                                                                        
    TROPICAL STORM GASTON WIND SPEED PROBABILITIES NUMBER  20           
    NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL072016               
    1500 UTC SAT AUG 27 2016                                            
                                                                        
    AT 1500Z THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM GASTON WAS LOCATED NEAR       
    LATITUDE 28.4 NORTH...LONGITUDE 53.2 WEST WITH MAXIMUM SUSTAINED    
    WINDS NEAR 60 KTS...70 MPH...110 KM/H.                              
                                                                        
    Z INDICATES COORDINATED UNIVERSAL TIME (GREENWICH)                  
       ATLANTIC STANDARD TIME (AST)...SUBTRACT 4 HOURS FROM Z TIME      
       EASTERN  DAYLIGHT TIME (EDT)...SUBTRACT 4 HOURS FROM Z TIME      
       CENTRAL  DAYLIGHT TIME (CDT)...SUBTRACT 5 HOURS FROM Z TIME      
                                                                        
    WIND SPEED PROBABILITY TABLE FOR SPECIFIC LOCATIONS                 
                                                                        
    CHANCES OF SUSTAINED (1-MINUTE AVERAGE) WIND SPEEDS OF AT LEAST     
       ...34 KT (39 MPH... 63 KM/H)...                                  
       ...50 KT (58 MPH... 93 KM/H)...                                  
       ...64 KT (74 MPH...119 KM/H)...                                  
    FOR LOCATIONS AND TIME PERIODS DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS               
                                                                        
    PROBABILITIES FOR LOCATIONS ARE GIVEN AS OP(CP) WHERE               
        OP  IS THE PROBABILITY OF THE EVENT BEGINNING DURING            
            AN INDIVIDUAL TIME PERIOD (ONSET PROBABILITY)               
       (CP) IS THE PROBABILITY OF THE EVENT OCCURRING BETWEEN           
            12Z SAT AND THE FORECAST HOUR (CUMULATIVE PROBABILITY)      
                                                                        
    PROBABILITIES ARE GIVEN IN PERCENT                                  
    X INDICATES PROBABILITIES LESS THAN 1 PERCENT                       
    PROBABILITIES FOR 34 KT AND 50 KT ARE SHOWN AT A GIVEN LOCATION WHEN
    THE 5-DAY CUMULATIVE PROBABILITY IS AT LEAST 3 PERCENT.             
    PROBABILITIES FOR 64 KT ARE SHOWN WHEN THE 5-DAY CUMULATIVE         
    PROBABILITY IS AT LEAST 1 PERCENT.                                  
                                                                        
                                                                        
      - - - - WIND SPEED PROBABILITIES FOR SELECTED LOCATIONS - - - -   
                                                                        
                   FROM    FROM    FROM    FROM    FROM    FROM    FROM 
      TIME       12Z SAT 00Z SUN 12Z SUN 00Z MON 12Z MON 12Z TUE 12Z WED
    PERIODS         TO      TO      TO      TO      TO      TO      TO  
                 00Z SUN 12Z SUN 00Z MON 12Z MON 12Z TUE 12Z WED 12Z THU
                                                                        
    FORECAST HOUR    (12)   (24)    (36)    (48)    (72)    (96)   (120)
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
    LOCATION       KT                                                   
                                                                        
    $$                                                                  
    FORECASTER STEWART                                                  
    
    


    Tropical Storm GASTON Graphics- Tropical Storm GASTON 5-Day Uncertainty Track Image
    5-Day Uncertainty Track last updated Sat, 27 Aug 2016 14:40:18 GMT

    Tropical Storm GASTON 34-Knot Wind Speed Probabilities
    Wind Speed Probabilities last updated Sat, 27 Aug 2016 15:06:38 GMT
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