As summer approaches, many Texans are beginning to prepare for the Atlantic hurricane season. At Arnold & Itkin, we understand the importance of being prepared for these natural disasters and the devastating impact they can have on families and businesses alike. As we keep an eye on the skies and the Gulf Coast, we'd like to offer some insight into hurricane patterns and the likelihood of a major hurricane making landfall in Texas in 2023.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season: A Time of Uncertainty
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, with peak activity usually occurring between August and October. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) closely monitors these storms as they form, and their Climate Prediction Center provides seasonal outlooks to help communities prepare for potential hurricanes.
In 2022, the NOAA predicted 14 to 21 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher). The season came to a close with 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes.
Last year’s two major hurricanes came in September, when Texas is slightly less likely to be struck by one of these devastating storms. Statistically, August is the month that a storm is most likely to hit Texas.
In fact, 2022 saw no named storms in August, something that hadn’t happened since 1997. The NOAA attributed this mid-season lapse to “increased wind shear and suppressed atmospheric moisture high over the Atlantic Ocean.” Accordingly, Texas saw a relatively uneventful Atlantic hurricane season.
What will happen this year remains to be seen.
Predicting the exact timing and location of a hurricane's landfall is extremely challenging, even for experts. However, by analyzing historical data and monitoring ongoing weather patterns, the NOAA can provide valuable information on the likelihood of tropical storms and hurricanes forming in the Gulf Coast region.
Texas Is a Prime Target for Tropical Storms & Hurricanes
Texas has a long history of tropical storms and hurricanes making landfall during the Atlantic hurricane season. According to NOAA data from 1851 to 2020, the Lone Star State is one of the most frequently impacted areas along the Gulf Coast. Its shallow waters and location in the Gulf of Mexico put Texas at risk of experiencing severe tropical storms.
Over the past 70+ years, nearly 20% of all U.S. tropical storm and hurricane landfalls have occurred in Texas. The only state with more hurricane landfalls is Florida (the state has been hit by nearly twice as many hurricanes as Texas, due to its location and its extensive coastline).
While hurricanes can strike Texas during any month of the Atlantic hurricane season, the highest frequency of landfalls typically occurs between August and September. This is due to the optimal combination of warm ocean waters and atmospheric conditions that fuel the development and strengthening of these powerful storms. The risk of a major hurricane hitting Texas reduces dramatically as the season progresses.
Preparing for the Next Big Hurricane
Although predicting the exact timing of the next big hurricane to hit Texas is impossible, the NOAA will release its hurricane forecast toward the end of May. It is likely to predict an above-average season (for the eighth year in a row), and Texas will be second on the list of states likely to experience a landfall.
If a storm does strike Texas, it is most likely to do so in August or possibly early September.
Because there is no way to predict with 100% accuracy when or where a hurricane will strike, the best thing Texans can do is to be prepared. Take the necessary precautions to protect your home, your business, and your family, and heed hurricane warnings. Staying informed and alert can make all the difference.
With our experience in helping clients navigate the complex process of recovering from hurricanes, our team at Arnold & Itkin understands the importance of being prepared. If you have questions or concerns about your legal rights following a hurricane or need assistance with insurance claims, please don't hesitate to reach out to our team for support.