GLO warns Texans to know risks
By Chris Edwards
From the beginning of this month we are in until Nov. 30, hurricane season is among us.
Experts are predicting a “more active than usual” season in 2022, with a higher probability that major storms will make landfall in Texas and in other areas along the east coast, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
State officials and emergency management personnel are already warning residents to be prepared.
Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush said it is more important than ever for Texans to protect their homes and safeguard their livelihoods against natural disasters.
“Every Texan can follow the five steps of preparedness,” said Bush. “Know your risk, plan your supplies, secure documents, plan your evacuation route and protect your property. Do your part to keep yourself, your family, pets and property protected.”
NOAA has predicted that up to six of the 21 named storms could be major events, which could range anywhere from Category 3 to 5 hurricanes, in which windspeeds reach up to 111 mph or greater.
According to NOAA’s predictions, this year has the potential to be the seventh above-average season in a row, with a 65% change of an above-normal season and a 25% chance of a near-normal season; a 10% chance of below-normal season, according to NOAA figures released on Tuesday.
Factors like La Niña, warmer sea surface temperatures and an enhanced West African monsoon will all likely contribute to an above-average season this year, NOAA officials said. Climate change has contributed to make those phenomenons more intense, NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad said Tuesday.
While Texas was spared the effects of any catastrophic storms in 2021, officials and experts are warning residents to be prepared.
The first storm of this season, Tropical Storm Alex, formed in the Atlantic, and as of press time, a tropical storm warning is in effect for Bermuda. That storm, according to officials, poses no threat to the East Texas region.
“Essentially everything is pointing toward an active Atlantic season,” said John Nielsen-Gammon, Texas state climatologist and director of the Texas Center for Climate Studies at Texas A&M University. “It doesn’t guarantee one but it makes it quite a bit more likely.”