If you go by news reports, just about every hurricane that forms in the Atlantic Ocean represents the next great natural disaster. Seemingly, almost every storm during the hurricane season gets sensationalized; and, when the winds die down, instead of simply communicating the facts, many media outlets look for ways to keep the news cycle churning.
Of course, the media do serve an important function in conveying the risks associated with major storms, and there is simply no way to predict the path of a hurricane or tropical storm with absolute certainty. But, if you just want the facts without all-caps headlines and reports that do not seem to tell the whole story, one of the best places to look for information is the National Hurricane Center.
Tracking Storms With the National Hurricane Center
The National Hurricane Center is managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and it is the primary source of new information and up-to-date projections for the paths of hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. You can see the current location of all storms and tropical depressions in real-time; and, for storms with the potential to impact the United States, you can find maps and charts that provide:
- Tropical storm and hurricane wind speed probabilities
- Arrival time of tropical storm-force winds
- The cone of the storm’s potential trajectory (with anticipated arrival times)
- Potential storm surge inundation
- Potential rainfall amounts
- Flash flooding potential
- Tornado watches and warnings related to hurricanes and tropical storms
The National Hurricane Center updates each of these charts and maps every few hours based on the latest data, so it is a good idea to check back often. Storms can change path suddenly; so, even if a storm appears to be heading away from your area, it is important to continue to monitor the storm as it gets closer to land.
Do Not Ignore Local Alerts, Warnings and Evacuation Orders
Importantly, while you can find information about wind, flood and storm surge watches and warnings on the National Hurricane Center’s website, what you won’t find is information that is specific to your local area. To make sure you are aware of local alerts, warnings, road closings and evacuation orders, it is important to also monitor your local news. News outlets that provide information about storms affecting Broward County and the Fort Lauderdale area include:
- Broward Palm Beach New Times (Broward County)
- Local 10 ABC News (Broward County and Fort Lauderdale)
- WPTV 5 NBC (West Palm Beach)
When watching the path of a storm with potential impact for your area, it is also important to prepare for whatever the storm may have in store. For some practical tips, we encourage you to read: What Can Homeowners Do to Prepare for Hurricane Season?
Property Damage Lawyers Serving Homeowners in Broward County, FL
At Saavedra | Goodwin, we help South Florida homeowners secure coverage under their insurance policies after damaging hurricanes and tropical storms. If you are struggling to secure payment from your homeowner’s insurance company, we encourage you to call (954) 767-6333 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help.