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NOUS41 KBOX 171549

Public Information Statement
National Weather Service Taunton MA
1149 AM EDT Mon Jul 17 2017

...Hurricane Preparedness Week In Southern New England...
...Rules Of Thumb For Southern New England Hurricanes - part 1...

The National Weather Service has declared this week as Hurricane
Preparedness week for southern New England. We will be issuing a
Series of five statements, the first three with rules of thumb
for New England hurricanes and the last two with preparedness

The first rule of thumb is this, any tropical system with a name
in the Bahamas has the potential to quickly become our business.
There are two main source regions for New England hurricanes,
the Cape Verde Islands off the west coast of Africa and the
Bahamas. The Cape Verde storms can become huge because they have
a week or more to travel across the Atlantic, and we know they
are coming well in advance. Bahamas storms tend to be somewhat
smaller, but they can develop rapidly and impact New England
very quickly.

In mid-August 1991, a cluster of thunderstorms formed near the
Bahamas on a Friday afternoon when most emergency managers went
home for the weekend. It was not even a tropical depression
yet, but it quickly developed into major Hurricane Bob that
Saturday. By Monday,  Bob had weakened to a Category 2, but had
accelerated and was in for breakfast and out for dinner, like
many New England hurricanes.

Speaking of acceleration, that leads to rule of thumb number 2.
Do not concentrate on when the eye is going to make landfall. If
you do, you will be too late with your preparations. Our storms
often accelerate up the coast and when they do, become very
asymmetric. The important effects of the storm are shunted way
out ahead of the eye.

For example, even though the center of Hurricane Bob was still
off The North Carolina coast, coastal roadways in Rhode Island
were closed 12 to 14 hours in advance due to coastal flooding.
This was associated with tropical storm force wind gusts in the
outer rain band squalls. As another example, the eye of the 1938
hurricane moved from Cape Hatteras North Carolina to New Haven
Connecticut in 8 hours, at times racing north around 60 mph!
Unlike most storms, the 1938 hurricane did not weaken on its
way toward southern New England due to its rapid forward speed
and track.

So, remember a named tropical cyclone in the Bahamas should be
monitored. Your safety preparations should be completed, not
started, by the time the storm is at the latitude of North
Carolina. Do not focus on when the eye is coming ashore, because
nasty weather will be occurring 12 or more hours in advance of
the eye.

Stay tuned tomorrow for more rules of thumb for New England


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