ORLANDO, Fla. – Ken Graham, the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center, warned Tuesday that South Florida residents should not let their guard down.
The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is from June to November and residents in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties should use the next month to prepare.
Graham said the United States had more Category 4 Hurricanes make landfall from 2017 to 2021 than from 1963 to 2016. And that, he said, is a sign that preparedness is key.
“It looks like we are going to be busy again,” Graham said while attending the National Hurricane Conference in Orlando.
The conference, known as the nation’s forum for education and professional training in hurricane preparedness, is from Tuesday to Wednesday at the Rosen Centre Hotel. Graham had a team in attendance.
Michael Brennan, of NOAA’s NHC’s Hurricane Specialist Unit in Miami, focuses on issuing tropical cyclone forecasts and warnings for the Atlantic and eastern North Pacific hurricane basins.
“We have enough tools now to recognize the conditions that are favorable for rapid intensification,” Brennan said about the improvements in technology available to forecasters.
There is always room for improvement in science. This is why Cody Fritz, an NHC storm surge specialist in Miami, is always busy coming up with creative solutions.
“I think the products that we provide that kind of illustrate where the surge is going to occur or how high the water is going to be — I do think that’s better or easier for people to kind of understand,” Fritz said.
Hurricane experts know that staying informed is key to developing an effective strategy to mitigate the risks.
“Just because it hasn’t happened in the last few years, doesn’t mean it can’t happen next season or this season, so [we] can’t let our guard down,” Graham said.
4:30 p.m. report: A look at the conference’s exposition area