It’s almost here — the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30.
An average hurricane season churns out 14 named storms, seven being hurricanes and three that intensify to major hurricane status. Hurricane outlooks from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other groups will be out soon, and can tell us if a season will be more or less busy than normal — but it only takes one storm to leave an impact.
What to Expect in Pennsylvania from Tropical Systems
Overall hurricane hazards include rain, wind, tornadoes, waves and storm surges. For Pennsylvania as a whole, we focus on preparing for the impact of rain, wind and tornadoes. But we do have some coastal areas which can have impacts from surges. Let’s break down two of the greatest hazards:
Inland river and flash flooding from heavy rain is the most common threat statewide, and flooding is the most likely threat from a tropical system in Pennsylvania.
Half the lives lost due to flooding are in vehicles, often at night with limited visibility, so never attempt to drive through flood waters. You don’t have to live in a flood zone to see the threat of flooding.
In fact, 20 percent of all flood claims are for properties outside of high-risk flood areas. Bottom line – assess what you would do if your home flooded and what you can do to mitigate those impacts.
Tropical systems do bring damaging wind and tornadoes. Both Isaias in 2020 and Ida in 2021 brought numerous strong tornadoes, resulting in injury and a fatality. Strong winds can bring down trees and create utility outages with impacts that can last for hours to days. Be sure to have a plan to live without power for a few days.