Hurricane season officially began June 1 and will be here to stay until Nov. 30. As we descend into a super-hot summer, we have so far experienced some super heavy downpours, but can Atlanta get hit by a hurricane? According to GEMA the answer is yes. The Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico pose as a natural threat to Georgia during these months, as they provide the prime conditions for hurricanes to develop. When warm moist air rises cold low-pressure systems begin to develop underneath. This causes the high-pressure air systems surrounding the original system to be drawn in as and rise up to the surface. Eventually things begin to swirl about and boom you have the perfect storm. Warm waters along the equator make ideal conditions for hurricanes to develop.
There is no doubt the United States’ coastline is completely prone to being hit by hurricanes, and even though the city of Atlanta is landlocked the state of Georgia is not. Most of the time hurricanes tend to hit areas like Miami and New Orleans often leaving a line of destruction behind them, but on the contrary Atlanta has experienced hurricanes before. In 1995 Hurricane Opal hit Atlanta early October leaving thousands of people powerless for days. Fallen trees and powerlines covered the city as it remained closed for clean-up leaving businesses shut down.
However, we haven’t necessarily had a hurricane hit us directly like Hurricane Opal, we have certainly felt the effects of hurricanes recently. When Hurricane Nate made landfall, the entire region experienced nothing but rain and strong winds for the next following days which of course caused down powerlines which meant power outages. Hurricane Irma’s effects left a similar mark with some power outages lasting so long local school systems modified their school calendar to make up for the missed day. Predicting hurricanes is not a simple task, but in Atlanta’s outlook hurricanes may not be such a direct threat for us, but we should never let our guard down when tracking these intense storms. Mother Nature is always in control and we never truly know when that perfect storm is going to be headed our way, so stay alert this hurricane season and don’t get caught in the rain!
Words by: Sydnee Evans