Stormy fore­cast

Rappahannock News - - The Rapp -

The chances for a trop­i­cal storm or hur­ri­cane strik­ing Vir­ginia and the re­main­der of the East Coast has just in­creased. In May, the govern­ment’s cli­mate pre­dic­tion cen­ter said this sea­son had a 30 per­cent chance for above-nor­mal ac­tiv­ity in these parts. But now the cen­ter’s lead fore­caster, Dr. Gerry Bell, said that has changed.

“Cur­rent and pre­dicted oceanic and at­mo­spheric con­di­tions now in­di­cate a higher like­li­hood — a 45 per­cent chance — of an abovenor­mal hur­ri­cane sea­son and a reduced like­li­hood — a 20 per­cent chance — of below-nor­mal ac­tiv­ity,” Bell ex­plained.

He’s fore­cast­ing 10 to 17 named storms, of which five to nine could be hur­ri­canes, and two to four could be ma­jor hur­ri­canes. “On top of that, some of those named hur­ri­canes and ma­jor hur­ri­canes could be longer and stronger than pre­dicted in May,” Bell said. At­mo­spheric wind pat­terns are ex­pected to be more hos­pitable to storm for­ma­tion.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant that com­mer­cial build­ings, farms and homes are able to with­stand storms,” said Scott DeNoon, farm prod­uct and un­der­writ­ing man­ager for Vir­ginia Farm Bureau Mu­tual In­sur­ance Co.

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