Tropical activity could be higher in the Atlantic this summer

Severe Weather

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — With the official start of hurricane season just days away and summer weather moving in, concerns are rising that the East Coast may be in for some trouble this year.

Just a few weeks ago a tornado touched down in the Northern Neck as the summer’s storm season is set to begin.

Storms during the summer of 2020 brought widespread issues to Virginia such as flooding and downed trees.

Many systems can creep in at a moment’s notice and cause significant damage. With little warning, homes can be taken off foundations and trees can be uprooted.

In our region alone, heavy rain events have increased almost 30 percent in 30 years.

8News Chief Meteorologist John Bernier says heavy rainfall events with two to three inches at a time are now more frequent.

Even though hurricane season isn’t official until June, tropical systems are popping up earlier in the year. An unusually warm Gulf Stream could bring more storm activity to the East Coast.

“Projections for this year are for above normal hurricane tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic, more than usual,” Bernier said. “But, this also comes down to three words: location, location, location.” 

Problems arise when storms actually touch ground, some with the potential to wipe out public infrastructure and cripple power service.

Today, President Joe Biden said FEMA will make $1 billion available for states to prepare for hurricanes; double the funding from last year.

“We are going to spare no expense, no effort to keep Americans safe,” Biden said. “We have to be ready. We have to be ready.” 

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