CHICOPEE, Mass (WWLP) — As we get closer to the beginning of June we get closer to Atlantic hurricane season.
Hurricane season begins June 1st, lasting until the end of November for areas near the Atlantic Ocean.
The climate prediction center is forecasting a fewer than normal tropical storms and hurricanes this year.
They expect between 8 and 13 tropical storms with winds 39 miles per hour or higher.
Of those storms, 3-6 of them are likely to reach hurricane status with winds of at least 74 miles per hour
1 or 2 of those storms could be major hurricanes.
The importance of tropical storms and hurricanes here in western Massachusetts cannot be overlooked. Just in 2011 tropical storm Irene brought damaging flooding to some of our river communities as well as neighboring states.
Cora Lee Drew told 22News,”I was actually in upstate New York with a cousin and we saw the river rise behind her house and that was pretty scary.”
Shelburne Falls sustained some of the worst flooding from Irene, which wasn’t even a hurricane, but a tropical storm.
Hurricanes have had a more recent impact on the beaches we visit.
Nearby Misquamicut beach in Rhode Island suffered damage after Superstorm Sandy, and just last week was undergoing repair.
Last year fell well below expectations with only 2 hurricanes, making some focus less on these long range predictions.
“I don’t think I could look out that far ahead. I’d rather look out the window and see what’s out there first,” said Paul Carella.
Already this year in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Hurricane Amanda has formed as the strongest hurricane ever in the month of May.