Resources to Track The Tropics
While southwest Virginia doesn’t get the brunt of landfalling hurricanes, it’s common to get flooding rain and even gusty wind and tornadoes as tropical systems move inland. This section includes some helpful links to track the latest tropical systems, get vacation travel information and learn about Virginia’s hurricane history.
INTERACTIVE HURRICANE TRACKER
Will your beach vacation be impacted by an upcoming system? Tropical storms and hurricanes come in all shapes, sizes and intensities. While WDBJ7 meteorologists track the impacts on our area, getting specific, critical information for an area you are visiting is equally important. Click the area you’ll be visiting for more information on preparedness.
VIRGINIA (Virginia Beach, Sandbridge Beach) National Weather Service | Emergency Management
NORTH CAROLINA (Outer Banks, Wilmington, Ocean Isle, Holden Beach, Sunset Beach) National Weather Service | Emergency Management | Dare County Emergency Management
SOUTH CAROLINA (Myrtle Beach, Cherry Grove, Murrells Inlet, Surfside, Charleston) | Hurricane Guide, South Carolina Department of Public Safety | National Weather Service
HURRICANE RATING SCALE
The National Hurricane Center ranks tropical systems based on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale which is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage.
|RATING||WIND SPEED||NOTES & HISTORIC LANDFALL|
|Tropical Depression||0 - 38 MPH||Does not get a name but forecasts issued by NHC.|
|Tropical Storm||39 73 MPH||Receives a name|
|Category One||74 - 95 MPH||Hurricane Hermine (2016)|
|Category Two||96 - 110 MPH||Hurricane Ike (2008), Hurricane Isabel (2003)|
|Category Three||111 - 130 MPH||Hurricane Katrina (2005)|
|Category Four||131 - 155 MPH||Hurricane Charley (2004), Hurricane Hugo (1989)|
|Category Five||>156||Hurricane Andrew (1992), Hurricane Michael (2018)|
2023 HURRICANE SEASON
|NAME||PRONOUNCER||PEAK INTENSITY||ACTIVE DATES|
2023 HURRICANE PREDICTIONS
Hurricane season predictions are based off decades of historical hurricane seasons and evaluate conditions that include:
- Atlantic sea surface temperatures
- El Niño
- Sea level pressures
- Vertical wind shear levels (change in speed and direction of winds with height in the atmosphere)
It’s to be noted the accuracy of predicting the number of storms and hurricanes is quite high, however, there is little/no attempt in the forecasts to determine where any developing storm would develop or make landfall.
|NAMED STORMS||HURRICANES||MAJOR HURRICANES|
|NOAA/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER||TBD MAY 25||---||---|
FAMOUS SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA HURRICANES
1954 | HAZEL
1969 | CAMILLE
1972 | AGNES
1985 | JUAN
1989 | HUGO
1996 | FRAN
2004 | IVAN
2018 | MICHAEL
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