Every geographical area has its own hazards – tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and flooding. The state of Texas is known for being in both Tornado Alley and a major hurricane zone.
When it comes to Texas, hurricane season is generally considered to go from June 1 to November 30. Or, to put it another way, summer to late fall, with a peak in August and September.
For all the details of Hurricane Season in Texas, keep reading.
Table of Contents
When is Hurricane Season In Texas?
In Texas, the official hurricane season follows the Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts from June 1st to November 30th.
August and September are considered the months of highest risk, but hurricanes can and have hit any time during that 6 month period.
How is Hurricane Season Defined?
Hurricane season occurs when the ocean waters warm up, particularly in the narrow band of tropical latitudes. For the Atlantic seaboard, this period occurs in summer and fall.
As the waters heat, the energy of the heated waters is absorbed by growing storms, which expand to become hurricanes.
Once the waters begin to cool again, the reduction of energy reduces the frequency of hurricanes, until they cease late in the fall.
What Are The Factors That Cause Hurricane Season?
At the beginning of summer, the overall temperature of the ocean begins to rise, particularly in the area of the tropics, close to the equator.
As the ocean temperature rises, it gains more energy.
Seasonal storms begin to form with various weather patterns – those in the tropics are called tropical storms, usually no worse than the average storm.
As the tropical storms sweep through the tropical zone, the warm water is absorbed and adds energy to the storm, making it larger and more violent.
Eventually, the storm crosses the energy threshold to become a hurricane. It also moves from the tropics into other climates, generally northward.
Depending on other factors, the hurricane may strengthen or weaken as it travels, until it makes landfall.
Windstreams, rotational vectors, and weather fronts determine where a hurricane will make landfall. Those that enter the Gulf of Mexico are the ones most likely to strike the Texas coast.
What Determines the Beginning Date?
The beginning date is determined by when the weather is consistently warm and has been warm for long enough to start raising the temperature of the ocean waters.
Since summer starts officially June 21st, it makes sense for June 1st to mark the beginning of the potential storm season.
What Determines The End Of Hurricane Season?
The end of hurricane season is determined by when the weather has turned cold enough to cool the Atlantic waters.
Once the water is cooled enough that it can no longer generate extra energy for storms, hurricane season is over.
November 30th is twenty-one days before the official beginning of winter, just as June 1st is 21 days before the beginning of summer.
By this point, fall is far enough advanced for the cooler temperatures to have affected the overall ocean temperature.
What Are The Differences Between Hurricane Season And Tornado Season?
There are actually a number of differences between hurricanes and tornadoes, and the seasons they’re most active.
- Peak season occurs during spring and summer
- Can occur any time during the year
- Usually, only last a few minutes
- Can form over land or sea (sea versions are called waterspouts)
- Form and then dissipate.
- Pass through an area in a short amount of time
- Can occur almost spontaneously.
- Rarely ever grow to be larger than a mile across
- Peak season occurs during summer and fall
- Unlikely to occur in winter and spring
- Can last for weeks
- Only form over ocean waters
- Can wax and wane in strength several times before dissipating completely.
- Can take hours to pass over an area.
- Take several days to form.
- Often several miles across.
While both storm formations can be dangerous, hurricanes generally offer more time for preparation and planning. However, it’s best to be as prepared as possible for both types of weather, at least if you live in a zone where these phenomena occur.
Texas is affected by both tornadoes and hurricanes, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re prepared.
Who Is Primarily Affected By Hurricane Season?
Hurricane season primarily affects those living on or near the coast, but the effects can be felt far inland.
The distance a hurricane’s influence spreads depends on the strength of the storm and the length of its duration.
Hurricane winds and rain can potentially penetrate hundreds of miles inland, especially for stronger storms.
This is one reason that evacuation routes are generally long corridors deep inland.
What Sort Of Preparations Should I Make For Hurricane Season?
There are several things you can do to prepare for bad weather and hurricanes. While you can look up details on weather preparation sites, the basic suggestions are:
– Store important documents and irreplaceable items in watertight containers, and well above ground level if possible.
– Make sure you have insurance coverage for flooding and storm damage
– Take steps to weatherproof your home:
- Flood-proof barriers at ground level
- Methods for boarding up windows. to prevent rain and wind damage, at least inside the home.
- Move electronics to higher ground if possible
- Turn off the circuit breaker before evacuation to prevent electronic shorts
- Regularly trim bushes and trees to avoid brush that can cause property damage.
- Tie down and secure any loose outside items.
– Develop a family plan in the event of landfall and evacuation:
- What route will you take?
- How will you inform family and friends?
- What will you pack? What essentials do you need?
- What will you do about family pets?
- Where will you go to wait for the hurricane to subside?
- Do you have battery powered radios, light sources, and methods of getting news?
– Don’t drive on flooded roads: You could wind up underwater.
– If you encounter flooded roads, turn around.
– Stay put unless evacuation is ordered: uncertain weather can be dangerous for drivers.
– Have a list of all necessary emergency contact numbers and be sure each member of your family has an easily accessible copy, both hardcopy and electronic.
What Are The Hurricane Evacuation Routes In Texas?
Hurricane routes are major roads that are used to allow coastal residents to move inland swiftly in the event of a major storm or a hurricane. They are marked by blue signs saying ‘Hurricane Evacuation Route’.
Most major highways that go to the coast are evacuation routes. The routes are divided by zones, so each area knows which roads to take.
Examples of evacuation routes in different areas include:
- Highway 83/77 for Brownsville area
- Highway 45 for the Houston area
- Interstate 10 for the Beaumont area
Other highways include:
- US 290
- Interstate 35
- US 59
- Interstate 37
In a pinch, any major highway can be utilized for hurricane evacuation. It’s best to look up the major highways closest to you and decide which highway you want to use ahead of time, so you don’t have to fight traffic and make last minute plans.
In the event of an evacuation, you should also keep tabs on your local news station. Authorities may have their own plans in place and be issuing specific instructions during the evacuations.
What Are Some Things To Watch Out For During Hurricane Season?
Hurricanes are dangerous enough on their own, but they also bring a number of other risks to an area.
You don’t want to get caught by the weather effects before or after a hurricane any more than you want to be caught in the hurricane itself.
If there’s a hurricane forming, or in a location to possibly make landfall near you, be aware of these phenomena:
Hurricanes are often preceded by big waves. They may seem like fun for surfers, but they often come with unexpected currents that can drag unwary surfers under.
It’s more dangerous near sand bars and places where the surf breaks.
Rip currents are fast, strong currents that can drag you out and pull you under. They can sometimes be seen near the surface, but more often are undetectable until they catch you.
If you get caught in a rip current, swim parallel to shore to try and get out of it. If that doesn’t work, do your best to call attention to yourself and keep your head above water.
Storm Surge and Flooding:
A storm surge is an abnormal rise of water that precedes a hurricane making landfall. Storm surges cause floods, sometimes 10 feet or higher.
Even a small storm surge with a flood of 6 inches can drag down an adult. A storm surge flood of 2 feet or greater can either stall or sweep away smaller vehicles.
Storm surges can cause flash floods that are highly unpredictable and dangerous.
Storm surges can happen anywhere from 36 hours before to several hours after a hurricane passes.
High winds, like a storm surge, can precede a hurricane by several hours, or follow by several hours as well.
High winds can whip up debris that becomes a hazard. High enough winds can even push cars off the road or knock people over.
Wind shears can come up unexpectedly from any angle, and cause incredible amounts of damage, aside from being hazardous to people.
A 50-Amp generator is one of the most cost-effective and convenient ways to power your RV or home when you’re off-grid.
Hurricanes can leave your home off the grid for a week or more. If you evacuate in an RV, you’ll need power too (and it may be a cloudy stretch of days for solar power).
Here below are the Best Generators for Hurricane Backup:
The Westinghouse 50-Amp RV generator can create 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts.
With such an incredible amount of power, it’s no surprise that this is a behemoth of a generator and weighs 352 pounds.
Champion’s 50-Amp RV generator creates 15,000 starting watts and 12,000 running watts.
When you fill the 10.9-gallon tank with gasoline, you can expect nine hours of power. It’s a heavy generator at 330 pounds.
When it comes to hurricanes, it’s hard to be too prepared. That’s why, from June to November, it’s a good idea for residents of Texas coastlines to keep the necessary plans and equipment handy, so you can be ready to get out of the danger zone if you need to.
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