The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins June 1. N.C. State University researchers predict that this year’s Atlantic hurricane season will be an unusually active one, with 15 to 18 named storms forming in the Atlantic basin and as many as 11 of them becoming hurricanes.
The National Hurricane Center recently announced that it will begin issuing storm watches and warnings about half a day sooner than previously. When a storm is approaching land, forecasters will now send watches advising that tropical storm conditions can be expected in 48 hours, instead of 36 hours. Warnings of tropical storm or hurricane conditions will be issued 36 hours ahead, not 24 hours.
Gulf Oil spill response
The North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety has developed anoil spill fact sheet in regards to the Deep Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Although the chance is small that oil from the spill would threaten our coast, the state of North Carolina is closely monitoring the spill, and state and federal agencies are coordinating plans to be fully prepared to respond in case the oil reaches our state. North Carolina has an oil spill response plan that defines roles and responsibilities for responding agencies, including the N.C. Division of Coastal Management.