Weather

Hurricane Season is Back, and It Will Be a Busy One

This type of flooding is not abnormal in Houston during hurricane season, so keep an eye on the weather.
This type of flooding is not abnormal in Houston during hurricane season, so keep an eye on the weather. Photo by Jennifer Lake
Perhaps you've glanced at your calendar in recent days and noticed it was June already. You've probably felt the onset of summer as you walk between your air conditioned home or office and your air conditioned car and wondered how you became coated with a layer of perspiration in 20 feet. This is how we do in Houston when June rolls around and we'll be stuck with it through at least September.

But, if you are new to town, you may have missed another added bonus: the start of hurricane season. Ah, yes, it's that magical time of year again when we start tracking storms across the entire Atlantic Basin. We already have Tropical Storm Alex, which brought heavy rain and flooding to south Florida before it even got a name.

Typically, June and July are somewhat quiet as hurricane season ramps up. The season runs from June 1 through November 30, with the peak of the season in mid-September. While there is always the possibility of an early season storm or hurricane, most of us along the Texas coastline will need to really start paying attention beginning August 1. The best chances of tropical weather here are between August 15 and September 15, generally speaking. By the end of September, we've usually had a cool front knocking out chances for any further serious concerns from the tropics.

Until then, we all need to be prepared. If you haven't been through a hurricane or heavy flooding storm before, this would be a good time to make sure your flood insurance is up to date. A new policy isn't activated for 30 days and you don't want to be caught without it even if you aren't in a designated "flood zone." As we saw with Hurricane Harvey, drop enough water in any single place and everyone is flood prone.

Don't worry, though. The chances of a major hurricane striking the Houston-Galveston area is normally pretty low even if this is expected to be another busy season with 21 named storms estimated. Just be prepared and keep an eye on the weather. In fewer than 120 days, this will all be past us and we can start worrying about a winter freeze that knocks out our power!
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke