The National Hurricane Center is making some changes ahead of the 2014 hurricane season.
The season starts next week, and these new services should help people better prepare for these large storms.
The most helpful tool will be the new storm surge flooding map. Storm surge is one of the most deadly and damaging aspects of any hurricane.
Large ocean swells move farther inland, causing widespread flash floods. These maps should help people protect themselves and their property.
The NHC is also making some enhancements to their forecasting graphics. Their forecasting graphics will now show five-day forecasts instead of the 48-hour forecasts they've been using.
These graphical forecasts are also a bit slimmer. The cones of probability are based on historical forecasting accuracy over the last five years. Since forecasting has improved, the radius of these forecasts may look like they've gone on a diet.
Last week's hurricane outlook is calling for a below average season. Their forecast is calling for up to thirteen named storms, with about half of them becoming hurricanes, and only one or two major hurricanes.
If this forecast holds true, then we'll likely use less than half the alphabet when naming these storms.
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