The Truth About Mold In Your Home
Mold is everywhere, even in your home. Although it’s virtually impossible to live without it in the air, too much can create significant problems for you and your family. An infestation anywhere in your house can result in minor annoyances such as sneezing or a runny nose. However, a serious buildup could cause structural damage and/or persistent and dangerous health issues. This means that even a small leak in your plumbing can lead to thousands of dollars in mold damage. For this reason, mold prevention should be high on every homeowner’s priority list.
Although mold can’t be completely eradicated in most circumstances, there are many measures you can take to prevent it from becoming a big enough problem to require mediation. For example, ensuring that your home has proper ventilation and airflow will help keep spores from settling and forming colonies.
If you live in a humid climate, you may want to consider purchasing a dehumidifier to maintain a balance between dry and moist air. Repairing any leaky fixtures and checking underneath your sinks regularly also can help you catch any growth before it becomes a problem.
For more information about how and why you should deal with mold, click the image below to view our infographic.
Hurricane Michael Just Hours Away From a Catastrophic, Unprecedented Florida Panhandle, Big Bend Category 4 Landfall
At a Glance
- Michael is expected to make landfall along Florida’s northeastern Gulf Coast Wednesday.
- A Category 4 or stronger hurricane has never made landfall in the Florida Panhandle.
- Catastrophic storm surge and destructive winds will occur near the landfall in the Florida Panhandle.
- Over a million power outages will occur not just near the coast, but also inland after landfall.
- Rainfall flooding is also a significant threat inland into the Carolinas.
Hurricane Michael is headed for a catastrophic, unprecedented Category 4 strike on the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend with a massive storm surge and over 100 mph winds possible not just near the coast, but also inland that could leave some areas without power for over a week.
If Michael makes landfall as a Category 4 storm, as expected, it will be the strongest hurricane to ever come ashore along the Florida Panhandle in records dating to 1851, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, tropical scientist at Colorado State University. In fact, Florida’s entire Gulf Coast north of Punta Gorda has never recorded a Category 4-plus hurricane landfall.
No longtime residents of this area will have seen a hurricane this strong before.
As the National Weather Service in Tallahassee emphasized early Wednesday, this morning is the last chance to get to a safe place in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend hurricane and storm surge warned areas.
Michael is currently centered about 80 miles south-southwest of Panama City, Florida, and is moving northward.
Water levels are quickly rising and a storm surge of 5 feet has already been reported at Apalachicola.
Rain has already moved into the Florida Panhandle with some locally heavy squalls. The eye of Michael can be clearly seen from the National Weather Service Doppler radar at Eglin AFB, Florida.
(INTERACTIVE: Latest Radar of Hurricane Michael)
Winds continue to increase along the Florida Panhandle.
A buoy about 90 miles south-southwest of Panama City reported sustained winds of 60 mph and a wind gust to 76 mph before it stopped reporting. Saint George island recorded a wind gust of 60 mph and Apalachicola Regional Airport measured a gust to 56 mph Wednesday morning.
A storm surge warning is in effect from the Okaloosa/Walton County line in Florida to Anclote River, Florida. This means that life-threatening storm surge inundation will occur in the warning area and be highest during landfall Wednesday.
Storm surge watches are in effect from Anclote River, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay. This means life-threatening storm surge inundation is possible in the watch area.
A hurricane warning is posted for the Florida Gulf coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida, including Pensacola, Panama City, Destin and Tallahassee. The hurricane warning also extends inland to southwestern Georgia, including Albany. Hurricane warnings are issued 36 hours before the anticipated arrival of tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph), which is when outside preparations become dangerous.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect from the Alabama/Florida border westward to the Mississippi/Alabama border, from Suwannee River, Florida, southward to Chassahowitzka, Florida, and along the Southeast coast from Fernandina Beach, Florida, to Surf City, North Carolina. The tropical storm warning also extends inland to portions of southern Alabama and southwestern Georgia, including Mobile, Alabama, and Valdosta, Georgia. This means tropical-storm-force winds are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.
Tropical storm watches have been posted from Chassahowitzka, Florida, to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay, from the Mississippi/Alabama border westward to the mouth of the Pearl River and also along the Southeast coast from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. This means tropical-storm-force winds are possible within 48 hours.
Those along the northeastern Gulf Coast in the path of Michael should be finished with preparations. There are only precious few hours left to get out if you’re in an area that has been ordered to evacuate. Follow the advice of local officials if you are ordered to evacuate, particularly if you live in a storm-surge-prone location.
– Landfall will occur along the Florida Panhandle Wednesday afternoon.
– Conditions will continue to deteriorate on the northeastern Gulf Coast Wednesday morning.
– After landfall, Michael will then accelerate inland across the southeastern U.S. Wednesday night through Thursday night with gusty winds and heavy rain.
– Michael could enhance rainfall in the mid-Atlantic and southeastern New England Thursday night and Friday.
– The National Hurricane Center says “some additional strengthening is possible before landfall” today in the Florida Panhandle or the Florida Big Bend area.
– As mentioned earlier, Michael will be the strongest landfalling hurricane of record for Florida’s Panhandle and Big Bend region.
Life-threatening, catastrophic storm surge flooding will occur along the immediate coastline near and east of where the center makes landfall.
The National Hurricane Center says water levels could reach the following heights if the peak storm surge arrives at high tide:
– Tyndall Air Force Base to Keaton Beach, Florida: 9 to 14 feet
– Okaloosa/Walton County line to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida: 6 to 9 feet
– Keaton Beach to Cedar Key, Florida: 6 to 9 feet
– Cedar Key to Chassahowitzka, Florida: 4 to 6 feet
– Chassahowitzka to Anna Maria Island, Florida, including Tampa Bay: 2 to 4 feet
Here are the high tides of concern through early Thursday for a few locations in the storm surge threat area along the Florida Gulf coast (all times are local):
– Panama City: 10:30 p.m. Wednesday
– Apalachicola: 6:10 p.m. Wednesday | 4:58 a.m. Thursday
– Cedar Key: 3:36 p.m. Wednesday | 3:18 a.m. Thursday
– Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg: 4:06 p.m. Wednesday | 3:09 a.m. Thursday
On the southeastern U.S. coast, onshore winds and high astronomical tides will also lead to some coastal flooding this week.
Charleston Harbor is forecast to see minor to moderate coastal flooding at high tide.
– Hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) are expected to arrive in the hurricane warning area on the northeastern Gulf Coast by late Wednesday morning.
– Hurricane-force winds will also spread well inland across portions of the Florida Panhandle, southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia.
– According to the National Hurricane Center, Category 4 winds in the eyewall of Michael are capable of catastrophic damage, including severe damage of well-built framed homes, many trees snapped and uprooted blocking numerous roads.
– Tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) have already begun to arrive in the hurricane warning area on the northeastern Gulf Coast.
– Tropical-storm-force winds are most likely to arrive in the tropical storm warning area along the northeastern Gulf Coast Wednesday morning and are possible in the tropical storm watch area by that time.
– Tropical-storm-force winds are expected to arrive in the tropical storm warning area along the southeastern U.S. coast Wednesday and are possible in the tropical storm watch area by late Wednesday.
Power Outage Potential
– Most all customers will lose power, with major tree damage and structural damage along the path of Michael near and just inland from where it makes landfall on the Florida Panhandle and southwest Georgia. These power outages may last over a week in some of these areas.
– Widespread power outages may extend into parts of the rest of south and east Georgia, southeastern Alabama, the Lowcountry of South Carolina and southeast North Carolina given Michael’s faster movement.
– Winds capable of at least scattered power outages and at least some tree damage may extend into parts of northern Georgia, Upstate South Carolina, central and northeast North Carolina and possibly far southeast Virginia. This is a particular concern in areas where soil is still saturated from Florence’s torrential rain in northeastern South Carolina and North Carolina.
– One forecast model from the University of Michigan suggests there could be at least 1 million customers without power from Michael, from Florida to North Carolina
– Metro areas that may experience power outages include: Tallahassee, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Columbia, Greenville-Spartanburg, Charleston, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham.
– Rainfall totals of 4 to 8 inches are forecast from the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend into southeastern Alabama and southwestern and middle Georgia, according to the National Hurricane Center. Locally, up to a foot of rain is possible. This may cause life-threatening flash flooding in some areas.
– The rest of Georgia, the Carolinas and southern Virginia may pick up 3 to 6 inches of rain, potentially triggering flash flooding. Locally, up to 8 inches is possible. This will include some areas devastated by flooding from Hurricane Florence. That said, this system will move quickly rather than stall like Florence did and will, therefore, not bring extreme rainfall amounts.
– The Florida Peninsula, eastern mid-Atlantic states and southern New England coast may see 1 to 3 inches of rain.
– As is typical with landfalling hurricanes, isolated tornadoes will be a threat on the eastern side of the storm.
– Wednesday and Wednesday night, the tornado threat will be in play mainly from parts of north Florida to south and middle Georgia and southern South Carolina.
– Thursday and Thursday night, that tornado threat spreads into the coastal Carolinas.
Check back with weather.com throughout the week for more details on the forecast for Michael.
Outer rainbands from Michael already soaked the Florida Keys on Monday. A wind gust to 55 mph was measured at the National Weather Service office in Key West, Florida, late Monday afternoon in association with Hurricane Michael’s outer rainbands.
Michael rapidly intensified from 11 a.m. EDT Sunday to 11 a.m. EDT Monday, when its winds increased from 35 mph to 75 mph during that 24-hour period.
At a Glance
- Florence has rapidly intensified into a major hurricane.
- A strike on the U.S. East Coast is now likely Thursday.
- Tropical storm force winds may arrive as soon as Wednesday night.
- Those in the path of Florence should have their hurricane plans ready to go.
- Massive inland rainfall flooding is also expected from Florence lingering into next week.
- Florence is also generating dangerous surf and rip currents along the East Coast.
Hurricane Florence has rapidly intensified into a Category 3 major hurricane southeast of Bermuda and is likely to lash the East Coast later this week with life-threatening storm surge, destructive winds and massive inland rainfall flooding in one of the strongest strikes on this part of the East Coast on record.
If you’re in the East Coast threat zone, the time is now to develop or firm up your hurricane preparedness plan and be ready to implement it if necessary.
As of late Monday morning, Florence was still more than 600 miles southeast of Bermuda, moving west-northwest.
Conditions in the atmosphere and ocean, including decreased wind shear and warm sea-surface temperatures, have improved, allowing Florence’s winds to increase from 75 mph to 115 mph in the 24 hours ending 11 a.m. EDT Monday.
This is the second time Florence has undergone rapid intensification, doing so also last Tuesday and Wednesday before wind shear weakened it temporarily.
Florence has generated swells that are affecting parts of the U.S. East Coast. Swells are also propagating to Bermuda and north- and northeastward-facing coasts of the Lesser Antilles, Puerto Rico, Hispañiola, the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas.
These swells will produce life-threatening surf and rip current conditions at these beaches
While there still remains some uncertainty in the precise track of Florence, a destructive strike on the East Coast is likely.
The key to Florence’s path hinges on the strength and westward extent of a dome of high pressure aloft, which is developing and will strengthen north of Florence over the western Atlantic Ocean Monday and Tuesday.
That bullish high-pressure ridge is expected to be strong enough and far enough west to push Florence to the Southeast coast.
Where Florence turns northward around the western periphery of that high-pressure system will determine what part of the coastline experiences the worst wind and storm-surge impacts typically near the eye.
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Florence to be a major hurricane (Category 3 or 4) when it arrives at the Southeast coast Thursday. Florence may become only the fourth Category 4 hurricane to make landfall along the U.S. East Coast north of Georgia, joining Hugo (1989), Gracie (1959) and Hazel (1954), according to the historical database.
Here is what we know right now about Florence’s track timing. All of this is subject to change in the days ahead, so check back for updates.
– Timing: The peak impacts from Florence are expected Thursday. Tropical storm-force winds may arrive as soon as Wednesday night, but most certainly by Thursday morning along the Southeast coast in the general area of the forecast path. Impacts from Florence, particularly heavy rain, may continue into next weekend or early next week, if it stalls out for a time, as suggested by forecast guidance.
– Locations Potentially Affected: Areas from southeastern Virginia to the Carolinas are most likely to see the first impacts from Florence. As mentioned earlier, it’s too early to know specific impacts for this stretch of coastline. Locations farther south, such as Georgia and northeast Florida and farther north into the mid-Atlantic should also monitor Florence for any forecast changes.
Potential U.S. Impacts
We cannot pinpoint exact areas that will see the worst impacts from storm surge, wind and rainfall flooding. However, some potential impacts are coming into a bit more focus.
– Coastal Impact: A destructive storm surge will accompany the eye coming ashore Thursday. It will be highest to the north or northeast of where the center comes ashore. Large, battering waves will ride atop this surge. Significant beach erosion is also likely on the southeastern U.S. coast.
– Wind Impact: Numerous downed trees and long-lasting power outages could occur near and inland from where the center of Florence strikes. This threat of tree damage and power outages may also extend across Florence’s larger swath of tropical-storm-force winds. Structural damage to homes and buildings is possible, particularly where the core of any hurricane-force winds moves through.
– Rainfall Impact: Florence could not only produce heavy rain along the coast, but also farther inland across the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic. That heavy rain threat may last for days if Florence stalls out into next weekend or early next week, as suggested by some forecast guidance. If that stall occurs, disastrous flooding could occur in some areas. See the link below for more information.
The name Florence has been used for Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes since 1953. Unfortunately, the destructive potential of this iteration may mean the name Florence may be retired from future use.
Hurricane activity is common in the Atlantic during August, but 2018 could be a rare exception with no tropical cyclones achieving this intensity during the month.
Two tropical storms, Debby and Ernesto, have formed so far this month, but they were far away from land in the northern Atlantic Ocean. Neither of them was in an area where conditions in the atmosphere and ocean would allow them to strengthen into hurricanes.
With a week to go in the month, there is a growing chance that August 2018 could finish with no hurricane activity. There were two Atlantic hurricanes in July this season: Beryl and Chris.
Satellite imagery for the Atlantic is quiet for late August and shows no areas of interest for possible development into a tropical storm or a hurricane. In addition, forecast guidance is not showing a clear signal for hurricane development as we close out the month.
Only eight years since the satellite era began in 1966 have had no hurricane activity in August. Most recently was five years ago in 2013. By hurricane activity we mean a named storm becoming at least a Category 1 for some period of time in a given year between Aug. 1-31.
The other seven years with no hurricanes tracking through the Atlantic basin in August are 2002, 2001, 1997, 1988, 1984, 1982 and 1967. That’s an average of about once every six to seven years August has had no hurricanes.
Historically speaking, August has the second most Atlantic hurricane formations since 1851 with 245. That’s an average of 1-2 forming in the month every year, according to NOAA. September leads the way with 404 hurricanes and October is third with 205 hurricanes.
If August 2018 finishes with no hurricanes, it does not mean we are off the hook from an Atlantic hurricane impacting land in the coming months.
The period between Aug. 20 and Oct. 10 accounts for 60 percent of all Atlantic basin hurricanes, according to Dr. Phil Klotzbach, a tropical scientist at Colorado State University.
Some of the years with zero hurricanes in August have had impactful storms later in the season.
In 2002, Hurricane Lili made landfall in Louisiana during early October and caused $1.6 billion in damage.
Beulah hit south Texas in September 1967 as a major hurricane with damaging winds, flooding and more than 100 tornadoes.
There’s no guarantee that a hurricane will strike the U.S. in the next couple of months like what occurred in those years, but residents of coastal locations should have a hurricane preparedness plan in place every year no matter what.
The report released this week by the Harris County Flood Control District says more rain fell over a five-day period, and on such a broad area, than at any time since records have been kept.
The area extends roughly from Victoria in South Texas northeast to Houston and over to the Louisiana border.
The report relied on calculations done by Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon.
The report focused almost exclusively on Harris County, home to Houston, where rainfall amounts last August ranged from 26 to 47 inches (660 to 1194 millimeters). Some areas east of metro Houston saw an estimated 55 inches (1397 millimeters).
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Hurricanes are the worst natural disasters in U.S. history. Hurricane Irma alone caused up to $200 billion worth of damage in 2017. While homes and properties are highly vulnerable to such disasters, the damages can be reduced by following a few key tips. Here’s how to minimize the impact of hurricanes on your home.
- Review your insurance. Regular homeowners policies don’t cover damage from flooding caused by natural disasters. So, before a hurricane strikes your area, make sure to get separate flood insurance. Visit https://www.floodsmart.gov/ for more info. Also keep an inventory with photos and videos of your belongings to help file the insurance claim.
- Secure your Make your roofing and frames stronger by installing reinforcements, such as straps or clips. Also secure loose shingles with heavy-duty adhesive and seal around your home’s chimney or vent pipes to keep water out.
- Maintain gutters and downspouts. Clean your gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent clogs. These could cause water damage to your home when rain starts to pour. Also ensure your gutters are strong and not sagging.
- Secure your windows. Strong winds can shatter your windows, leaving your home vulnerable. The best way to secure your windows is to install permanent storm shutters, which can be made of steel, aluminum, and other materials. Installing plywood is also a good defense for your windows. However, avoid taping as it doesn’t prevent glass from breaking.
- Caulk your home. Caulking is a fast way to waterproof your house and reinforce vulnerable areas. Caulk around your windows and doors, the edges of your house, and around chimneys and other roof penetrations.
- Insulate the outside first floor walls with rigid foam or install plastic sheeting. It won’t stop all the water from getting in, but most of the silt will be kept out.
- Reinforce your garage To make it withstand powerful winds, secure your garage door with a brace kit rated for storm and hurricane winds. Other ways to strengthen your garage door are installing a metal post system or covering the door with metal panels, fabric screen or 5/8-inch plywood.
- Trim trees and shrubs. Loose branches in your yard (and neighborhood) could be struck by powerful winds during a storm, damaging your house. So cut those dead or loose branches to safeguard your property.
- Secure loose objects. Your yard may also host objects that could become projectiles in high winds. Tie down and secure anything that could be swept up by winds, such as potted plants, lawn furniture, and dog houses. When a storm is imminent, bring light objects inside.
- Protect appliances from power outages. While you should unplug electrical devices during a powerful storm, it’s ideal to also purchase a surge protector. It prevents damage to your devices in case the power goes out.
- Move valuables to a higher floor. As electronics and appliances are susceptible to water damage, move them to a higher floor. If you can’t, at least raise them off the floor on concrete blocks.
- Use sandbags when a storm is hours from arriving. Pile up sandbags at least two feet high as an efficient barricade against floodwaters. If you don’t have sandbags, place heavy-duty garbage bags – filled one-third of the way with water – around your house doors.
When a hurricane arrives in your area, there’s no time to prepare. Don’t postpone – make the necessary preparations to protect your home against hurricanes now. For water removal services and mold cleaning services, contact First Restoration America today, 1-888-320-5944!
After last year’s disastrous hurricane season that included storms like Harvey, Irma and Maria, the U.S. probably won’t see much of a hurricane reprieve this year, according to forecasters from the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project.
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season forecast released Thursday from Colorado State University calls for the number of named storms and hurricanes to be slightly above historical averages, but less than last year.
The group led by Dr. Phil Klotzbach calls for another busy season with a total of 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.
This is just above the 30-year average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or stronger on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Though the official Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November, occasionally we can see storms form outside those months, as happened last season with April’s Tropical Storm Arlene.
The CSU outlook is based more than 30 years of statistical predictors, combined with seasons exhibiting similar features of sea-level pressure and sea-surface temperatures in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans.
Here are three questions what this outlook means.
Q: What Does This Mean For the U.S.?
There is no strong correlation between the number of storms or hurricanes and U.S. landfalls in any given season. One or more of the 12 named storms forecast to develop this season could hit the U.S., or none at all. Therefore, residents of the coastal United States should prepare each year no matter the forecast.
A couple of classic examples of why you need to be prepared each year occurred in 1992 and 1983.
The 1992 season produced only six named storms and one subtropical storm. However, one of those named storms was Hurricane Andrew, which devastated South Florida as a Category 5 hurricane.
In 1983 there were only four named storms, but one of them was Alicia. The Category 3 hurricane hit the Houston-Galveston area and caused almost as many direct fatalities there as Andrew did in South Florida.
In contrast, the 2010 season was active. There were 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes that formed in the Atlantic Basin.
Despite the large number of storms that year, not a single hurricane and only one tropical storm made landfall in the United States.
In other words, a season can deliver many storms, but have little impact, or deliver few storms and have one or more hitting the U.S. coast with major impact.
The U.S. averages one to two hurricane landfalls each season, according to NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division statistics.
In 2016, five named storms impacted the Southeast U.S. coast, most notably the powerful scraping of the coast from Hurricane Matthew, and its subsequent inland rainfall flooding.
Before that, the number of U.S. landfalls had been well below average over the previous 10 years.
The 10-year running total of U.S. hurricane landfalls from 2006 through 2015 was seven, according to Alex Lamers, a meteorologist with The National Weather Service. This was a record low for any 10-year period dating to 1850, considerably lower than the average of 17 per 10-year period dating to 1850, Lamers added.
Bottom line: It’s impossible to know for certain if a U.S. hurricane strike, or multiple strikes, will occur this season. Keep in mind, however, that even a weak tropical storm hitting the U.S. can cause major impacts, particularly if it moves slowly, resulting in flooding rainfall.
Q: Will El Niño or La Niña play a role?
The odds are increasingly in favor for the development of a neutral state of El Niño or a weak El Niño by the heart of the hurricane season. In other words, near average or slightly warmer than average water temperatures in the eastern Pacific are anticipated.
El Niño, or the periodic warming of the central and eastern equatorial waters of the Pacific Ocean, tends to produce areas of stronger wind shear (the change in wind speed with height) and sinking air in parts of the Atlantic Basin that is hostile to either the development or maintenance of tropical cyclones.
The chances of El Niño development climb toward the end of the season, according to the Climate Prediction Center, but neutral conditions are most likely during the peak of hurricane season, which occurs in September.
Klotzbach noted in the outlook that there is considerable uncertainty regarding the future state of El Niño. In fact, “the latest plume of ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) predictions from a large number of statistical and dynamical models shows a large spread by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season in August-October.”
However, based on the current information, Klotzbach says that the “best estimate is that we will likely have neutral ENSO conditions by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season.”
ENSO conditions will need to be closely monitored over the next few months.
Q: Any Other Factors in Play?
Water temperatures in the Atlantic have a much more direct role in tropical cyclone development on our side of the continent.
The current water temperatures across the North Atlantic basin show cooler-than-average water temperatures in the far North Atlantic and in the eastern tropical Atlantic and warmer-than-average water temperatures off the East Coast of the U.S., Klotzbach points out.
Since early March there has been some slight anomalous warming across the eastern and central tropical Atlantic, Klotzbach notes. It remains a big question of what water temperatures will be in the North Atlantic during the peak of hurricane season.
Remember, however, that it isn’t the anomalies that allow hurricanes to intensify, but rather the actual heat of the oceans.
Water temperatures of 80 degrees or higher are generally supportive of tropical storm and hurricane formation and development.
Much of the tropics stay at or above this temperature for most of the year.
So why bring it up if favorable conditions are always around?
If temperatures in the MDR are warmer than average, we often get more than the average number of tropical storms and hurricanes from this region. Conversely, below average ocean temperatures can lead to less tropical storms than if waters were warmer.
Another aspect that we must keep in mind is that warmer waters in the MDR allows tropical waves, the formative engines that can become tropical storms, to get closer to the Caribbean and United States.
Another factor to consider is the end of the positive phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). This is a climate cycle that lasts roughly 50-80 years, with about half of that period seeing increased hurricane activity while the other half sees decreased activity.
The current upward swing began in 1995, and the index that measures AMO has been in the cold or decreased phase in recent years and is near its long-term average.
The AMO only has high-level effects on the tropics, and any effects from the cycle will need to be researched after the season is over.
Other factors that can be detrimental to tropical storm or hurricane development include dry air and wind shear.
This was the second April outlook issued since the passing of Dr. William Gray, noted hurricane researcher and emeritus professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University.
Gray, who died in April of 2016, was the creator of the yearly Atlantic hurricane season outlooks, which have been published every year since 1984. He developed the parameters for these outlooks in the late 1960s, which was considered ground-breaking research at that time.
A Fourth March Nor’easter is Possible as Spring Arrives Next Week, Bringing More Snow and Wind to the Storm-Weary East
Yet another nor’easter, what would be the fourth this month, may plague parts of the storm-weary East next week as an active March pattern extends into the first week of spring.
While the key details of this forecast, such as who will see snow or rain, how much snow will fall, and how strong the offshore low becomes are not yet in focus this far out in time, the general setup is a familiar one.
Namely, a sharp southward plunge of the jet stream will carve into the East.
Responding to that, low pressure should form near or off the East Coast around the middle of next week.
Moisture will then wrap into sufficiently cold air near the surface to wring out areas of snow from the Ohio Valley to the Appalachians and Northeast.
(MORE: Winter Storm Central)
Here is what we know about this potential storm.
This system will bring snow to the Sierra, Great Basin and Rockies this weekend before heading into the Plains and Midwest Monday, then to the East by Tuesday. Here’s our latest forecast timeline.
- Snow will continue in California’s Sierra through Saturday, and will spread into the Rockies and Four Corners through the weekend.
- Several feet of additional snow will pile up in the Sierra, where travel will be heavily impacted over Donner Pass on Interstate 80.
- Snow or a rain-snow mix will also begin to push into the northern Plains by Sunday.
(MAP: 48-Hour Rain/Snow Forecast)
- Light to moderate snow will target the northern Plains.
- Low pressure should begin developing near or off the East Coast.
- Snow should develop from parts of the Ohio Valley into the Appalachians and mid-Atlantic, particularly later Tuesday.
- Areas to the south should see mainly rain.
- Low pressure should remain swirling off the Northeast Seaboard.
- Snow, possibly heavy, may stretch from parts of New England to the Mid-Atlantic, Appalachians and Ohio Valley.
- Strong winds are possible particularly along the coast from New England to the Mid-Atlantic coast.
- This may lead to coastal flooding, beach erosion, and possibly power outages and tree damage, yet again, in some areas.
- Snow may linger in parts of the East, particularly in New England.
- Some lingering snow in New England may be heavy.
(MAPS: 7-Day U.S. Forecast Rain/Snow)
Again, it is too soon to determine who may see heavy snow from this potential nor’easter.
In general, there is potential for more snow to fall farther south in the Mid-Atlantic states than the past couple of storms.
If you, your friends, or family have been affected by these storms give us a call today! We pride ourselves on returning your home back to normal as quickly as possible. Check out our water damage process!
You weathered the storm and flood. After all the warnings and speculation, precautions and concern, the worst is over, and your home is still standing. Standing in water, maybe, but intact. Now all that’s left to do, after counting your lucky stars, is buckle down and focus on flood restoration efforts.
Regardless of the extent of damage to your home, the task may seem overwhelming. After all, water has a way of seeping into the most inaccessible places and causing significant harm. The last thing you want to do is overlook key renovation details, ending up with more problems later as a result.
Below you’ll find specific information regarding complications to look out for when dealing with flood damage, as well as tips to help safeguard your home from further destruction in the future. When you contact First Restoration America we will take the worry and stress away from you and take care of everything when dealing with the flood damage. Give us a call today!
Check Your Foundation and Structure
Knowing that your house is standing and intact in no way precludes the possibility of foundation compromise. Check by first scrutinizing your exterior walls. Make sure the sight line from one corner to another, and top to bottom, is straight. If you note curvature or a bulge in the center, this may indicate your house has shifted.
Evaluate any chips or flakes found on foundation concrete. Poke firmly with a screwdriver. No area should be soft enough for a chunk to break off. Finally, look up and study your chimney. Does it have a definite lean to it?
Be aware of indoor structural signs that also indicate probable foundation movement:
- Do you have posts in your basement? Are they at a strict 90-degree angle with the flooring?
- Do the walls bow?
- How about your crawl space? Roll a marble along the floor to make sure it’s not sagging. Do the same thing to any porches or stoops.
Windows, doors and floor tiles can also present tell-tale red flags. Do your doors open, close and latch smoothly? Are any of your windows stuck or difficult to seal close? If you haven’t dropped a heavy object directly on floor tiles, they should not be cracked. Neither should doorways and points where walls meet.
Look Around Outdoor Areas for Damage
Any of the above indicators point out the need to protect your home from further disrepair. During restoration, pay strict attention to the soil around your foundation and the slope at which it falls. Make sure surrounding soil slopes downward at an approximate grade of 6 inches for every 10 feet.
Clear drainage gutters and extend downspouts out at least 5 feet. Consider a rainwater catch system to further assure water does not seep into foundation walls.
Are there any mature trees planted close to the house? Their roots will draw water right where you don’t want it. Move deep-rooted plantings, and consider soaking the soil about half a foot around your home when it rains to prevent subsequent expansion and shrinking.
Look for Mold and Protect Your Home for the Future
Anytime water enters the drywall or wood of a structure, an excellent possibility of mold infestation follows, especially if the water is allowed to sit. Once mold spores begin to grow, they spread quickly.
Not always visible to the naked eye, mold may be a factor if you or your family members suddenly present marked allergy symptoms such as sneezing, upper respiratory congestion and labored breathing.
During flood restoration, keep the moisture level in your home low by:
- Using fans, air conditioning, exhaust ventilation and dehumidifiers.
- Removing soaked carpeting, rugs, curtains and upholstered furniture.
- Considering re-flooring with hardwood or ceramic tile.
- Re-evaluating your home’s insulation with an eye toward preventing habitual condensation. Pipes, windows and water tanks are common culprits.
Search for Hot Points – Prevent Fires
Electrical issues associated with flood and water damage can be severely dangerous and should receive full evaluation. Be aware of any outlets that are hot, have a pervasive burning smell, or put off electrical shocks or sparks. If your lights flicker or do not work, check the circuit breaker with caution. If the panel, fuse box or fuses have been submerged, they must be replaced.
The same goes for your furnace or boiler, heat and air conditioning units, blowers, fans and lights. All household items that are motorized or run off a circuit board such as cell phones, computers, TVs and microwaves may be rendered inoperable. Keep careful records for insurance claims. Take pictures and try to include make, model and serial number codes.
Make sure you hire a licensed electrician to evaluate the damage and offer recommendations for raising electric ground components. You might also consider a more highly elevated location for your HVAC system, especially if it, too, requires full replacement.
Perhaps the best way to begin restoring your home after a flood is to contact First Restoration America, we have helped clients weather storms — and their aftermath — time and time again.