At the end of each week, we post a "What We’re Watching" blog as we look ahead to the weekend and recap events from the week. We encourage you to share it with your friends and family, and have a safe weekend.
Tropical Storm Ernesto is currently located in the Atlantic off the island of St. Lucia but at this time is not expected to impact U.S. territories. Although there are currently no coastal watches or warnings in effect for the U.S., we will continue to monitor the storm as it develops over the weekend and early next week.
History has taught us that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly, so we encourage coastal residents to monitor weather conditions and take steps now to get prepared for potential severe tropical weather. Tropical storms can bring heavy rains and high winds, so it’s important that you take steps to prepare your property and family.
Elsewhere across the U.S., the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center has forecasted severe weather for parts of the Mid-Atlantic and New England on Sunday, August 5. If severe weather is expected in your area, visit www.ready.gov/natural-disasters/severe-weather for information on what to do before, during and after severe weather.
Additionally, excessive heat is expected to continue throughout parts of the Southern Plains over the weekend.
Here are some tropical storm and hurricane terms you should be familiar with:
- A hurricane watch means sustained winds of 74 mph or greater are possible within the specified area in the next 48 hours. Be prepared to evacuate. Monitor local radio and television news outlets or listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest developments.
- A hurricane warning means sustained winds of 74 mph or greater are expected within the specified area in the next 36 hours. If local authorities advise you to evacuate, leave immediately.
- A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours. Be prepared to evacuate. Monitor local radio and television news outlets or listen to NOAA Weather Radio for the latest developments.
- A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours. If local authorities advise you to evacuate, leave immediately.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid walking or driving through flooded areas – it only takes six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult and two feet to move a vehicle.
- Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.
- Don’t put yourself at risk, follow the instructions of local officials, and if they give the order to evacuate - evacuate.
Here’s a short video reminding everyone about the importance of being prepared for hurricanes. Although it references Florida residents, all coastal state residents should take steps to prepare today.
Visit www.ready.gov or www.listo.gov to learn how to prepare your home and family for a hurricane or tropical storm and for tips on creating your family emergency plan and putting together an emergency supply kit.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!