Apr 30, 2018

3 changes the NHC is implementing for the upcoming 2018 Atlantic hurricane season

by
Brian Lada
,
AccuWeather
Hurricane Irma east of Puerto Rico on Sept. 5, 2017. Image: NOAA
Hurricane Irma east of Puerto Rico on Sept. 5, 2017. Image: NOAA

The Atlantic Hurricane season begins on June 1 and lasts through Nov. 30, reaching its peak around the middle of September.

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This year, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is making some changes to maps and other products to help improve communication to the public, including where a tropical system is headed and what impacts it may bring.

Here are three changes that the NHC is making for the upcoming hurricane season:

1. Adjustments to the official hurricane track maps

One of the biggest changes this hurricane season will be adjustments to the NHC’s hurricane track map.

When the NHC issues a track for a tropical system, the map includes what is known as the cone of uncertainty.

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For the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, the cone will be smaller than it has been in past years.

This will give the public a better idea of where the center of the storm is headed in the coming days.

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2. Experimental wind maps will become official

In 2017, the NHC introduced an experimental map to help convey to the public when strong winds would arrive at a given location.

These experimental maps showed the expected arrival time of tropical storm-force winds in 6- to- 12-hour increments extending out five days out.

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After going through a test run in the 2017 season, the NHC has decided to make these maps fully operational for the upcoming season.