The start of the 2017 hurricane season is just a month away, but Mother Nature doesn’t follow man’s calendar.
Tropical Storm Arlene is proof of that.
Experts say early storms are no indication of how busy a season will be.
“Generally, activity before Aug. 1 doesn’t correlate with the remainder of the season,” said Phil Klotzbach, Colorado State University hurricane researcher. “The only exception is if we get tropical cyclone activity in the deep tropics prior to Aug. 1. Then, look out, it’s probably going to be a very active season.”
But it’s not too early to start thinking about preparing for the prime June 1 through Nov. 30 storm months.
The Palm Beach Post will publish it’s annual Hurricane Guide on May 28.
But here are a few things to mull as the countdown begins.
Know how to program your NOAA weather Radio.
Tim Schott, a NOAA weather radio expert with the digital and graphical information support branch of the National Weather Service, said finding the correct station is just a matter of toggling across different frequencies to find the station that comes in the clearest.
On some radios there is a “WB” setting, which stands for “weather band,” with several frequencies.
If you don’t want to leave the weather radio on all the time, some versions have an “alert” feature that can be set with a specific county code and will only activate if there is an emergency in that area.
For Palm Beach County, the code is 012099.
“You can program in the county code and turn it off. But then at 3 a.m., if there is an emergency, the radio will activate automatically,” Schott said. “It’s a great thing people should have.”
NOAA weather radios can be standalone systems purchased from specific manufacturers, or come as part of a multi-functional device, such as those sold at home supply stores that include a flashlight and phone charger.
This year, the National Hurricane Center has released four hurricane graphics aimed at helping people better understand the risks posed by an approaching storm.
Some graphics are just tweaks to well-known products, such as the forecast track cone.
But others are entirely new and could easily be misinterpreted.