This year's hurricane season will be here soon. The National Hurricane Center's (NHC) director, Ken Graham, shares what his team learned from 2020's record-breaking season, what changes are on the way, and how you and your family can get ready before you ever need to board up the windows.
Check out meteorologist Justin Gehrts's full interview with Ken Graham in the video player above, or view the NHC director's individual answers below.
Meteorologists expect this hurricane season to become more active than average. However, where storms end up matters – it only takes one hitting where you live to make it a bad season.
Don't wait until a storm is coming. Use the time before the season starts to know what your threats are and what you'll do if a hurricane does approach, no matter if you live on the coast or farther inland.
In both 2020 and 2005, the NHC ran out of names on its list and had to spill into the backup Greek alphabet. Unfortunately, the Greek alphabet caused confusion, which got in the way of people fully understanding the safety messages.
Social science research, including how people use information and why they make the decisions they do, is playing a bigger part in what the NHC says and does.
The "official" start of the hurricane season is June 1, but the NHC will start issuing routine tropical advisories on May 15 this year. However, changing the start of the season to that same date isn't a simple decision.
A pandemic on top of a record hurricane season obviously presented challenges. It put backup plans to the test, but they succeeded.
Graham is excited about the upgrade to the storm surge model, which should provide more accurate predictions of storm surge. Better forecasts will help with preparation and evacuation.