Hurricane season’s peak is coming: In NJ, we know that’s serious
The weather is supposed to beautiful Tuesday, but with the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane season fast approaching, Jersey residents are being advised to stay alert and have an emergency plan put together, just in case it’s suddenly needed.
“September tends to be the busiest month for hurricane activity in the Atlantic, but this weekend coming up is actually the five-year anniversary of Irene, and many people may remember that storm back in 2011 in late August that impacted many portions of the area,” said Larry Nierenberg, the tropical program leader for the National Weather Service in Mount Holly.
A little more than a year after Irene, Superstorm Sandy slammed New Jersey, in October of 2012, causing billions of dollars in damage.
The official peak for Hurricane season this year will be Sept. 10.
He pointed out “so far this year we have had six named storms and two hurricanes, but the forecast is calling for 12 to 17 named storms and five to eight hurricanes.”
So how damaging could one of these storms be if it tracks up toward the Garden State?
“A hurricane is defined by having winds at least 74 miles an hour, and any storm that has 74 mile per hour winds or greater can be very serious,” Nierenberg said.
Nierenberg said “there’s no way more than probably about a week or so out that we can tell with any reliable certainty that a storm would have any impact on us at all. So far we’ve been fortunate, but everybody just needs to keep their diligence up and know what to do if we get one.”
He stressed it’s very important for Jersey residents to get regular updates about what’s going with storms that could potentially turn into hurricanes.
“As a result of Irene and certainly Sandy, anybody who was impacted by those storms along the coast probably does keep more of an eye and an ear out now. For everybody, keep an eye on the forecast, with cell phones and everything else these days, all this modern technology that we have there are certainly so many ways to get weather information," Nierenberg said.
He added “I know a lot of people say they don’t bother looking unless they’re going on a cruise to the Caribbean or something, but that’s not necessarily the smartest thing to do.”
If a big storm does threaten Jersey, Nierenberg said, there can be a significant impact inland.
“A lot of people believe if they’re not right on the shore, 'Oh I’m safe from this,' and that’s not completely true. And certainly with Irene, we learned that roads can be impacted, power grids can be impacted. Everybody should just maintain vigilance, be prepared should something impact New Jersey."
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