Hurricane season: A resource guide for reporters and media | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season in 2022 and NOAA has developed this guide to help journalists get the timely information, graphics and video they need for stories throughout hurricane season.

Before, during and after a hurricane, NOAA scientists are working to make America a more Weather-Ready Nation through preparedness and resiliency that saves lives, protects property and strengthens the nation’s economy.

Monitoring and forecasting

Experts at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) study the latest data to aid them in forecasting the track and intensity of every tropical cyclone over the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and the eastern North Pacific Ocean. With each storm, NHC confers with the National Weather Service forecast offices in the path of the storm to coordinate watches and warnings in those communities.

  • For every active tropical cyclone, NHC issues a complete advisory package every six hours. It includes an updated forecast and graphics with the track and intensity forecast, time of arrival of tropical storm and hurricane-force winds, key messages, a potential storm surge flooding map, and a storm surge watch/warning graphic. NHC also posts the same information on Facebook and Twitter to ensure a wide distribution.
  • When hurricane watches or warnings are posted for a portion of the U.S. coastline, NHC opens a television media pool to provide live interviews to national news/weather outlets and those local TV stations in the path of the storm.
  • NWS provides timely forecasts and decision support services to help local officials determine what public safety actions are needed, such as whether to evacuate, close roads and schools, or open shelters.

Hurricane specialists use weather observations from satellites, radar, and aircraft reconnaissance, and analyze a variety of computer models to forecast the track, intensity and potential impacts of hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions.

Experts at NOAA’s Ocean Prediction Center deliver marine warnings and forecasts for large portions of the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Follow their updates on Facebook and Twitter.

NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) issues seasonal hurricane outlooks in May for the Atlantic basin, the eastern North Pacific Ocean and the Central Pacific Ocean. CPC updates the Atlantic basin outlook in early August.

NHC’s Tropical Cyclone Reports contain comprehensive information on each tropical cyclone, including synoptic history, statistics, casualties and damages. And the National Hurricane Center Verification Report provides track and forecast verification for tropical cyclones. Other topics of interest to reporters each season include the naming of hurricanes, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and tropical cyclone climatology.

Media contact: maria.torres

Before a storm arrives

Hurricane preparedness is extremely important. To increase public safety, NOAA provides actions to take, before the hurricane season begins, when a hurricane approaches, and when the storm is in your area, as well as what to do after a hurricane leaves your area.

Media contact: maria.torres

Hurricane research

NOAA researchers study all aspects of hurricanes to advance models that improve weather forecasts that save lives, protect property and support our nation’s economy. This season, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory is deploying a large array of air and water uncrewed systemsto gather data designed to help improve hurricane track and intensity models and forecasting. Drones will be launched from NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft that will fly into the eyewall of hurricanes to collect data in the area where warming water can fuel rapid intensification. Other uncrewed systems — Saildrones offsite link, hurricane gliders, surface floats and global drifters — are being used to gather observations for research and forecasting. In 2022, NOAA will also deploy the NOAA G-IV Hurricane Hunter to study how thunderstorms that drift off the west African coast develop into tropical waves, the “seedlings” for many tropical cyclones.

Media contact: monica.allen

Climate change connection

NOAA tracks how changes in our atmosphere, ocean and climate are influencing the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. In this 2021 ScienceBrief review, offsite linkNOAA and partner scientists found that climate change is likely fueling more powerful hurricanes while flooding during hurricanes is being amplified by sea level rise. Other research by NOAA found the speed of movement of tropical cyclones, including hurricanes, has been slowing in recent decades, with more storms lumbering slowly over land, unleashing more rain, and causing more flooding. In early May 2022, two NOAA scientists published a blog that looks at how human-caused climate change is influencing Atlantic hurricanes. In addition, NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory regularly updates a website with the latest research and analysis of how climate change is impacting hurricanes.

Media contact: monica.allen

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