monster storm

‘Disastrous’ Storm Long Overdue, Weather Experts Warn As Hurricane Season Begins

A “disastrous storm” is long overdue for both the Gulf Coast and East Coast regions, weather experts warn. A “monster storm” could strike any day, top meteorologists are predicting. Massive hurricanes have historically hit the East and Gulf Coasts every 20 to 40 years — it has now been at least 70 years since such a deadly and powerful storm has hit either coast, MIT weather experts maintain.

MIT meteorology professor Kerry Emanuel said the Gulf and East Coast has been “kind of lucky.” Emanuel and his fellow weather experts are also warning that cities around the coastal regions are “ripe for disaster,” because many buildings have never been tested by 110 mile-per-hour winds. Winds of such velocity reportedly occurred during both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Andrew.

Professor Emanuel is concerned that many remain unaware or have forgotten the damage and loss of life caused during recent powerful hurricanes.

“In the Tampa region, an Andrew-sized storm could cause more than $200 billion in damage, according to a local government study in 2010. It’s ripe for disaster. Everyone’s forgotten what it’s like. It’s just the laws of statistics. Luck will run out. It’s just a question of when.”

“Hurricane Season” began on June 1. NOAA is predicting a 70 percent chance of “fewer than normal hurricanes” this season, mostly due to an El Niño weather oscillation. Even a “quiet” hurricane season can spawn powerful storms with the ability to devastate an entire region, the MIT weather experts caution. When Hurricane Andrew hit Miami in 1992, that year was also a “below average” season for hurricane activity.

FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is reportedly preparing for the worst and is concerned that others are not.

“[Inexperienced people] generally underestimate how bad it will be and made decisions about staying when they should be evacuating. You have to accept the fact that every time a major storm threatens it’s a new experience for 99 percent of the people involved. People don’t always understand the threat.”

The Tampa area is of particular concern for many weather experts. The National Hurricane Center, which reportedly calculates storms a bit differently than the MIT experts, says a major hurricane should hit approximately every 30 years. The National Hurricane Center believes that it has been “decades” since a massive storm has hit America.

“It’s a real big concern,” National Hurricane Center Science Operations Officer In Miami, Christopher Landsea, said. “My worry is that we’ll have hundreds or even thousands dead the next major hurricane that hits the Tampa Bay area. Hurricanes don’t give a darn what happened the last year, the last 10 years. We could certainly have a major hurricane hit Tampa-St. Pete in 2015 but it doesn’t matter for this particular season that it hasn’t had a hurricane since 1921.”

The last time a disastrous storm hit Houston was in 1941. It has reportedly been 160 years since the Norfolk, Virginia, area has been hit with a monster hurricane.

“I would be seriously worried about Houston, just because it’s a huge petrochemical center with very large potential for a blended natural-technological event,” Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Director Kathleen Tierney, said.

Do you think a disastrous storm or massive hurricane will hit the Gulf Coast and East Coast region in the near future? Are you prepared to survive such a monster storm?

[Image via: Shutterstock]

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