Virginia Tech professor weighs in on start of hurricane season

(WHSV) – June 1 marks the start of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season and it still looks set to be very busy.

Dr. Stephanie Zick, assistant professor and Virginia Tech meteorologist, said that although our region is not directly affected by hurricanes, inland precipitation can pose a great threat to our region.

“There are actually two storm tracks that I think can be problematic for our region. Those that make landfall in the Gulf are somewhat more frequent. So kind of the one that’s picked up by the jet stream and moving northeast. Another that can be problematic is much like Hurricane Florence,” Dr. Zick said.

Hurricanes Fran and Isabel, which are two notable storms that affected our region, both made landfall in North Carolina and tracked north as they tracked inland. Hurricane Ida made its way to landfall in the Gulf before moving northeast and dumping several inches of rain in our region in 2021.

Dr. Zick said the category of the hurricane isn’t everything, the size of the actual hurricane is a key factor.

“A bigger storm can generate more storm surge which can lead to more coastal flooding and a good example of that is Hurricane Sandy or Superstorm Sandy because it wasn’t even a hurricane at the time. landfall, but it generated a very large storm surge,” Dr Zick said.

The Atlantic hurricane season lasts until the end of November.

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