Hurricanes come in five strengths, known as the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale: from Category 1: maximum sustained wind speeds of 75-95 mph (120 – 153 kph) to Category 5: more than 155 mph (250 kph). Winds in these higher speeds can cause extreme havoc.
The power of the rain and seas can do tremendous damage, too. Being close to the ocean creates special risks, and these areas are often evacuated. According to the National Hurricane Center, storm surge is the onshore rush of sea water caused by the high winds associated with a land-falling cyclone.
Historically, there have not been many hurricanes to hit the peninsula. Colorado State University is forecasting a 2017 season of below-average hurricane activity in the Atlantic, with 11 named storms, of which 4 could become hurricanes, of which 2 could become major hurricanes. The median is 12, 6.5, and 2 respectively.
Did you know: Atlantic hurricane names are now maintained and updated through a strict procedure by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization.There are six alphabetical lists with alternating male and female names. These six lists are used in rotation and re-cycled every six years; so the 2017 list will be used again in 2023. The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity. The names for 2017 are: Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, and Whitney.
If you are here during this time frame, we advise you to be alert. As a hurricane develops there are usually satellite pictures on the front page of the local newspapers. You can also check the internet at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
The warning system in Yucatán:
Yellow alert – Preparation Stage
Orange alert – Alarm Stage
Red alert – Evacuation Stage
Things to do to prepare:
– Stock enough food, water and medicine to remain at home for at least three days without power in case rescue efforts are delayed or roads are blocked.
– Have enough candles on hand and batteries for flashlights and radios.
– Know where your shut-off valves are for utilities such as gas, electricity and water.
– Have a fully charged cell phone (land line service can be interrupted).
– Have an emergency contact person out of the area.
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