AUSTIN, TEXAS (WVUE) - The 2015 National Hurricane Conference in Austin has been meeting all week with emergency management officials and meteorologists, and everyone wants to know how active this season will be.
The numbers aren't out yet, but all signs point to it being another below-normal year.
Meteorologist Eric Blake, from Mandeville explains why that may not be a good thing.
"Well just because the season might be below normal, you can still have a significant hurricane," Blake said. "There's many hurricanes that have hit the Gulf Coast on a lower-than-average year. For example, Hurricane Alisha - there was only four storms that year. But one was a major hurricane, and it hit the city of Houston dead on. It only takes one, and we can't emphasize that enough."
Blake was then asked if there was any relationship between the hurricane preseason forecast and where storms might go. Will they be more concentrated in the Gulf? Will storms be more plentiful on the East Coast or Florida?
"In the Gulf of Mexico it's kind of a special place because the seasonal forecasts have a little bit more relevance for the East Coast and up along the East Coast of the whole United States," Blake said. "In the Gulf of Mexico, you don't see much of a relationship. Some of the most powerful hurricanes that we've seen – say, Betsy in 1965, a below-normal year, also an El Nino year, which we sort of expect this hurricane season to be, was a significant hurricane. It really only takes one."
So the bottom line is that the start of the hurricane season is less than two months away, and as always, we want to know if we'll have to evacuate again. Too early to know. Stay tuned.