Today, May 15th is the official start to the Eastern Pacific hurricane season. Already a named storm has formed in the east Pacific, Aletta which is a modest storm as it only is packing winds of 40 miles per hour. However, Aletta is a sure indicator that more storms are to develop. Forecasters are currently keeping their eyes on some turbulent cloud masses in the ocean which could trigger the next named storm. Aletta is forecast to dissipate over the next couple of days so there is no imminent threat to the U.S.
The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1st. The formation of Aletta signals that activity is increasing in tropical areas around the globe. That is following a record 41 day period in at least 70 years with no tropical storm formations anywhere on earth. While the Atlantic hurricane season receives a lot of attention and press in the United States, tropical storms and even hurricanes which have formed during the Eastern Pacific hurricane season have resulted in devastating, widespread flooding and even in the loss of lives. Arizona is the state in the country that has seen the most storm activity during this season. In 1970, tropical storm Norma was responsible for flooding across central and southern Arizona which resulted in several people losing their lives.
With the onset of the Pacific hurricane season and the soon-to-be arrival of the Atlantic season, now is the time for people living in tropical storm/hurricane-prone areas to prepare themselves. If a storm is heading your way, it is important to know what you will need to have on hand if you stay to ride the storm out. You should have enough food and water on hand to last your family for three to seven days. It’s also important to store important documents in a safe place and to know your evacuation routes. Planning in advance is the key to surviving a tropical storm or hurricane.
As for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, fewer storms are in the forecast which is great news. The 2012 season is being predicted to have eleven tropical storms, six of which will develop into hurricanes. Two of the hurricanes are expected to sustain winds of over 110 miles per hour, so say forecasters at Weather Service International. That prediction is due to cooler water temperatures in the Atlantic in addition to the year’s weather patterns thus far.