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Track The Tropics has been the #1 source to track the tropics 24/7 since 2013! The main goal of the site is to bring all of the important links and graphics to ONE PLACE so you can keep up to date on any threats to land during the Atlantic Hurricane Season! Hurricane Season 2021 in the Atlantic starts on June 1st and ends on November 30th. Love Spaghetti Models? Well you've come to the right place!! Remember when you're preparing for a storm: Run from the water; hide from the wind!

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Category Wind Speed Storm Surge
  mph ft
5 ≥157 >18
4 130–156 13–18
3 111–129 9–12
2 96–110 6–8
1 74–95 4–5
Additional Classifications
Tropical Storm 39–73 0–3
Tropical Depression 0–38 0
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a classification used for most Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed the intensities of "tropical depressions" and "tropical storms", and thereby become hurricanes. Source: Intellicast

Hurricane Season 101

The official Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season runs from June 1st to November 30th. A tropical cyclone is a warm-core, low pressure system without any “front” attached. It develops over tropical or subtropical waters, and has an organized circulation. Depending upon location, tropical cyclones have different names around the world. The Tropical Cyclones we track in the Atlantic basin are called Tropical Depressions, Tropical Storms and Hurricanes! Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclones are classified as follows: Tropical Depression: Organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with defined surface circulation and max sustained winds of 38 mph or less. Tropical Storm: Organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph. Hurricane: Intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation. A Hurricane has max sustained winds of 74 mph or higher!

The difference between Tropical Storm and Hurricane Watches, Warnings, Advisories and Outlooks

Warnings:Listen closely to instructions from local officials on TV, radio, cell phones or other computers for instructions from local officials.Evacuate immediately if told to do so.
  • Storm Surge Warning: There is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area. This is generally within 36 hours. If you are under a storm surge warning, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.
  • Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected somewhere within the specified area. NHC issues a hurricane warning 36 hours in advance of tropical storm-force winds to give you time to complete your preparations. All preparations should be complete. Evacuate immediately if so ordered.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within your area within 36 hours.
  • Extreme Wind Warning: Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour. Take immediate shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.
Please note that hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings for winds on land as well as storm surge watches and warnings can be issued for storms that the NWS believes will become tropical cyclones but have not yet attained all of the characteristics of a tropical cyclone (i.e., a closed low-level circulation, sustained thunderstorm activity, etc.). In these cases, the forecast conditions on land warrant alerting the public. These storms are referred to as “potential tropical cyclones” by the NWS. Hurricane, tropical storm, and storm surge watches and warnings can also be issued for storms that have lost some or all of their tropical cyclone characteristics, but continue to produce dangerous conditions. These storms are called “post-tropical cyclones” by the NWS. Watches: Listen closely to instructions from local officials on TV, radio, cell phones or other computers for instructions from local officials. Evacuate if told to do so.
  • Storm Surge Watch: Storm here is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the specified area, generally within 48 hours. If you are under a storm surge watch, check for evacuation orders from your local officials.
  • Hurricane Watch: Huriricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are possible within your area. Because it may not be safe to prepare for a hurricane once winds reach tropical storm force, The NHC issues hurricane watches 48 hours before it anticipates tropical storm-force winds.
  • Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.
Advisories:
  • Tropical Cyclone Public Advisory:The Tropical Cyclone Public Advisory contains a list of all current coastal watches and warnings associated with an ongoing or potential tropical cyclone, a post-tropical cyclone, or a subtropical cyclone. It also provides the cyclone position, maximum sustained winds, current motion, and a description of the hazards associated with the storm.
  • Tropical Cyclone Track Forecast Cone:This graphic shows areas under tropical storm and hurricane watches and warnings, the current position of the center of the storm, and its predicted track. Forecast uncertainty is conveyed on the graphic by a “cone” (white and stippled areas) drawn such that the center of the storm will remain within the cone about 60 to 70 percent of the time. Remember, the effects of a tropical cyclone can span hundreds of miles. Areas well outside of the cone often experience hazards such as tornadoes or inland flooding from heavy rain.
Outlooks:
  • Tropical Weather Outlook:The Tropical Weather Outlook is a discussion of significant areas of disturbed weather and their potential for development during the next 5 days. The Outlook includes a categorical forecast of the probability of tropical cyclone formation during the first 48 hours and during the entire 5-day forecast period. You can also find graphical versions of the 2-day and 5-day Outlook here
Be sure to read up on tons of more information on Hurricane knowledge, preparedness, statistics and history under the menu on the left hand side of the page! Here are your 2020 Hurricane Season Names: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine ,Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred!!!

TrackTheTropics Resource Links

CONUS Hurricane Strikes

1950-2017
[Map of 1950-2017 CONUS Hurricane Strikes]
Total Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Total Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Total MAJOR Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Total Major Hurricane Strikes 1900-2010 Western Gulf Hurricane Strikes Western Gulf Hurricane Strikes Western Gulf MAJOR Hurricane Strikes Western Gulf Major Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf MAJOR Hurricane Strikes Eastern Gulf Major Hurricane Strikes SE Coast Hurricane Strikes SE Coast Hurricane Strikes SE Coast MAJOR Hurricane Strikes SE Coast Major Hurricane Strikes NE Coast Hurricane Strikes NE Coast Hurricane Strikes NE Coast MAJOR Hurricane Strikes NE Coast Major Hurricane Strikes

Tropical Cyclone Safety – Windows and Doors

Tropical Cyclone Safety Improvements: Windows and Doors

Windows

One of the best ways to protect a home from damage in wind storms is to install impact-resistant shuttersover all large windows and glass doors. Not only do they protect doors and windows from wind-borne objects, but they can reduce damage caused by sudden pressure changes when a window or door is broken. Laminated window systems (plastic bonded to glass) are another option, and are a particularly good choice for either building a new home or adding to an old one.

Manufactured Shutters

If your residence has permanent shutters, evaluate their effectiveness. Manufacturers are responsible for testing their shutters up to the standards necessary to resist wind forces and wind-borne debris. Some shutters are very flexible, especially those that roll up.

If struck by a rigid piece of debris, shutters may break the window. To determine whether your shutter can resist this impact, gently lean against it and see if it yields. You can also inspect your shutters to see if they are properly attached to the house and will not fly off during a storm by inspecting the shutter connectors for obvious excessive wear or missing connectors. Ask your shutter manufacturer for proper installation criteria.

Doors

Your home has either double or single entry doors. If they are solid wood or hollow metal they probably can resist wind pressures and hurricane debris. However, if you are not sure whether they are strong enough, take these precautions:

  • Install head and foot bolts on the inactive door of double-entry doors. (Shown here) Make sure your doors have at least three hinges and a dead bolt security lock which has a minimum one inch bolt throw length.
  • Since double entry doors fail when their surface bolts break at the header trim or threshold, check the connections at both places. Be sure the surface bolt extends into the door header and through the threshold into the subfloor.

 

Tropical Cyclone Safety Improvements: Roofs and Walls

Gabled Roofs

Does your home have a gabled roof? If so, the end wall of your home takes a tremendous beating during a hurricane. If not properly braced, it can collapse, causing significant damage. However, gable end walls are easy to strengthen and deserve to be a high priority on your retrofit list. Although truss bracing is not endorsed by IBHS, the Red Cross and others recommend it as a retrofit for gabled roofs. To do this yourself, install 2x4s the length of your roof, overlapping the ends of the 2x4s across two trusses.

Typically, gable end trusses are directly attached to the top of gable end walls. The bottom of the truss must be securely nailed to the top of the wall and braced to adjacent trusses. This prevents wind from pushing or pulling the gable end at its critical point, where the gable truss is connected along the gable wall. Without adequate bracing, the end wall may be destroyed during hurricane winds.

To secure your gable end wall, fasten eight-foot long braces to the bottom chord of the gable truss and the adjacent trusses with sixteen-penny (16d) nails. The braces should be perpendicular to the truss, spaced at a maximum of four feet on center. In addition, be sure to tie back the gable truss with at least one eight-foot long brace, along the ridge of the roof, to several of the interior trusses.

Shingles

Shingles are usually not designed to resist hurricane force winds. They come with integral locking tabs or factory-applied adhesives that on occasion do not adhere properly to the underlying shingle because of cold weather installation, uneven surfaces or any number of other reasons. For increased wind resistance, have a qualified person inspect several shingle tabs to see if the adhesive has engaged. If not, use a quick-setting asphalt cement to bond them together.

To cement the shingle tabs to the underlying shingles, place two spots of quick-setting asphalt cement about the size of a quarter under each tab with a putty knife or caulking gun. Press the tab into the adhesive. Be sure to cement all the tabs throughout the roof, being careful not to bend them farther than necessary when applying the adhesive. Replace any damaged shingles immediately.

Attach Roof Sheathing with Adhesive

You can also improve the uplift resistance of the roof deck from the attic without removing the roof covering. This is how…

  • Using a caulking gun, apply a ¼” bead of wood adhesive along the intersection of the roof deck and the roof support element (rafter or truss chord) on both sides.
  • At places where you have limited access, such as where the roof meets exterior walls, use quarter round pieces of wood approximately two to three feet long and apply the adhesive along the two adjacent sides of the block. The length of the quarter round pieces can be longer or shorter to suit your installation needs.
  • Press the wood pieces in the intersection making sure the adhesive has made solid contact with the sheathing and roof support elements.

According to static pressure tests, using the wood adhesive can increase the wind uplift resistance of the plywood roof sheathing by as much as three times the conventional method of securing the sheathing with nails. It should be available at your local hardware and building supply stores. Please ask your local hardware expert if other products are available that could provide the same strength and properties as a wood adhesive.

Roof to Top of Wall Connection

Metal hurricane straps or clips provide the proper measure of strength and safety for the roof-to-wall connection. The common practice of toenailing the trusses or rafters often is not sufficient to hold a roof in place in high winds. These clips or straps are usually very difficult to see from the attic because of insulation.

Areas where the roof framing meets the top of stud walls are normally covered by dry wall on the inside and by wall cladding and soffit board on the outside. To install hurricane straps and clips, remove the roof sheathing around the perimeter of the roof to reveal the top of the wall. You may also need to remove the soffit and exterior cladding to reveal the top 12″ to 18″ of the wall. In addition, if the exterior cladding is brick veneer, you may need to remove small sections of brick as needed.

If your roof has trusses, make sure you tie them to the wall by either anchoring to the top plate and then the top plate to the wall stud, or strapping the truss directly to the wall stud.

 

Tropical Cyclone Safety: Protecting Garage Doors

Because of their width, double-wide garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than single doors. Unless you have a tested hurricane-resistant door, the wind may force it out of the roller track — especially if the track is light weight or some of the anchor bolts are not in place. This occurs because the door deflects too much under excessive wind pressure and fails.

To secure your garage door:

  • Check with your local government building official to see if there are code requirements for garage doors in your area.
  • Check with your local building supplier or garage door retailer to see if a retrofit kit is available for your garage door.
  • You should probably reinforce your double-wide garage door at its weakest points. This involves installing horizontal and/or vertical bracing onto each panel, using wood or light gauge metal girds bolted to the door mullions. You may also need heavier hinges and stronger end and vertical supports for your door.

If you decide to retrofit your garage door with a kit that allows you to operate the door after it is installed, make sure the door is balanced by lowering it about halfway and letting go. If the door goes up or down, the springs will need adjusting. Note: Since the springs are dangerous, only a professional should adjust them.

If you are unable to retrofit your garage door with a kit specifically designed for your door, you can purchase garage door retrofit kits to withstand hurricane winds at your local building supply store. Also, check to see if the supplier can do the installation.

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