Online webinar to address 2020 hurricane season

By Kelly Montoya

Online webinar to address 2020 hurricane season

By Kelly Montoya
Canes on Canes, a student organization, will host an informative online discussion about the anticipated storms and share an overview of the breadth of research being conducted at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season began Monday.

But to date, we’ve already felt the impact of Arthur and Bertha, two developed pre-season storms.

“Arthur and Bertha both originated near south Florida in May, giving us two episodes of extremely heavy rain before the storms actually developed and got named further north,” explained Brian McNoldy, Canes on Canes mentor and senior research associate at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.

“That makes 2020 only the fourth year to have two known storms form before June 1—the others were in 2012, 1908, and 1887,” he noted.

The extreme rainfall left behind by the storms has already resulted in major flooding around Miami.

Episodes of heavy rain are a normal part of summer here, with or without a hurricane's help, but it’s forecasted that the 2020 hurricane season will bring above-average activity because of early indicators that historically have a correlation with hurricane activity, McNoldy pointed out. 

“The recent three-day rainfall total of 14.67 inches in Miami was statistically a 1-in-40-year event, so quite extraordinary,” he added.

In order to educate and help the Miami community prepare for what’s to come this season, Canes on Canes, a student organization composed of graduate and undergraduate students focused on hurricane research, will host a webinar on Wednesday, June 3, at 11:30 a.m.

Students will address the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season outlook and dispel common misconceptions about the forecast and its implications. They will also discuss best practices for hurricane prep, what to include in a disaster kit, mandatory evacuation zones, and how to draft a personal evacuation plan. The webinar will conclude with a Q&A session for all attendees.

“Our number one goal is that everyone attending the webinar leaves with the necessary information to create their own readiness plan for this year’s hurricane season,” said Quinton Lawton, Canes on Canes team leader and Ph.D. student at the Rosenstiel School. “We want everyone to understand the importance of crafting a personal evacuation plan well in advance of an imminent hurricane landfall. We also hope people leave the webinar with an appreciation of the science that goes into hurricane forecasting and emergency preparedness.”

The group has consulted with the University's emergency managers to get the most up-to-date guidance on how preparation for, and response to, a hurricane might work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s more important now than ever to be prepared for the season,” Lawton explained. “So, we will touch upon how the current COVID-19 pandemic interplays with hurricane readiness this year.”

Visit https://miami.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_IzSK9rcPSTeQmOF_cpyGxQ to register for the webinar.