The US National Hurricane Center's forecasts will include forecasts for inland areas

The US National Hurricane Center's forecasts will include forecasts for inland areas

scheduled tribe. Petersburg, Florida, United States. ,

The “cone of uncertainty” designed by the National Hurricane Center to forecast the location and strength of tropical storms will be updated this year to include forecasts for areas of the interior of the United States, where winds and flooding can sometimes occur. Sometimes they are more dangerous than coastal damage.

NHC said on social media sites on Thursday, June 1.

“This experimental graph will help better communicate the risks of inland winds, in addition to the risks of coastal winds,” the Miami-based center said in its publication.

The traditional cone used for years usually shows the forecast path of a hurricane or tropical storm, but it focuses on winds and storm surges on coasts, and meteorologists always caution against looking only at the center line. Heavy rain and winds can be deadly and cause significant damage in inland areas, which happened with Hurricane Ian in 2022, when 149 people died in Florida.

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The goal of the expanded forecast is to make sure people who don't live along the coast are aware of the dangers they may still face, said Jamie Rome, NHC deputy director. The new cones include colors to show which locations face threats more widely than before. If anyone lives in those areas, “they are at risk,” Rome said.

There is growing evidence that the effects of climate change – such as sea level rise – are making the most powerful hurricanes more intense, and increasing the likelihood that a developing hurricane will rapidly intensify. Which will generate more flooding and more powerful storm surges. According to experts, on the coasts.

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After Ian devastated the Fort Myers area – where the most deaths occurred and the most damage was reported – the storm continued to rain and downed trees across a wide area of ​​Florida. There was flooding around Orlando and its amusement parks, south of Kissimmee, east of Daytona Beach, and the cattle and citrus country of central Florida.

Ian dropped 10 to 20 inches (25 to 51 centimeters) of rain across much of central Florida, the NHC reported.

People living along the rivers were deeply and unexpectedly affected. When Ian slowly moved through interior DeSoto County and the Peace River flooded the community, Fire Chief Chad Jorgensen urged residents to flee, saying the river was unpredictable and dangerous.

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The first named storm of 2024 will be Alberto. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the 2023 season produced 20 named storms, including seven hurricanes. Only Hurricane Idalia affected the U.S. territory, making landfall in the sparsely populated Big Bend area on Florida's Gulf of Mexico coast, but it also caused flooding inland.