Friday, May 23, 2014

Episode 215 (5-26-14): Here Comes Atlantic Tropical Storm Season 2014

Click to listen to episode (3:06)


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of May 26, 2014.

This week, we feature a series of guest voices calling out a mysterious group of names.  Have a listen for about 25 seconds, and see if you can guess who—or rather, what—these names might be.

SOUND (~22 seconds)

If you guessed hurricanes, you’re right!  Those are the names planned for hurricanes and tropical storms during the 2014 Atlantic tropical storm season, covering the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea.  The season runs officially from June 1 through November 30, but exceptions happen, such as in 2012 when the first two named storms occurred in May.  National Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 25 to 31, and during that same period Virginia is offering its annual sales-tax holiday for hurricane-preparedness supplies and equipment.  Hurricanes and tropical storms are two categories of tropical cyclones—counter-clockwise-rotating storm systems that start in tropical or sub-tropical latitudes.  A tropical cyclone is called a tropical storm—and gets a name—when sustained wind speeds reach 39 miles per hour; at 74 miles per hour, a tropical cyclone is considered a hurricane.  Tropical depressions—with wind speeds below 39 miles per hour—don’t get names, but they can still bring heavy rainfall and flooding.

SOUND (~4 seconds)

Before a tropical system of any speed or name barges into the Old Dominion, you can get ready by making an emergency plan, including an evacuation plan; assembling an emergency kit of food, water, and supplies; and establishing ways to stay informed, especially if the power goes out.  Detailed instructions are available from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, online at  Thanks to friends in Blacksburg for lending their voices to this episode.

For other water sounds and music, and for more Virginia water information, visit our Web site at, or call us at (540) 231-5463.  From the Virginia Water Resources Research Center in Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.

[All Internet addresses mentioned were functional as of 5/23/14]

Names and tracks of 2013 Atlantic tropical storms, according to the National Hurricane Center, online at (accessed 5/23/14).

Thanks to the Blacksburg, Va., residents who recorded tropical storm names for this episode on May 22, 2014.

Following are the planned names for storms in the 2014 Atlantic tropical storm season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) “Tropical Cyclone Names” Web page, Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky, and Wilfred.

Tropical-storm-season preparedness was also featured in Virginia Water Radio Episode 163 (5-27-13).

Sources for this episode and other sources of information about the Atlantic tropical-storm season and preparedness

American Red Cross
, “Hurricane Preparedness,” online at

Federal Emergency Management Agency
(FEMA), “Hurricanes,” online at

National Hurricane Center
, online at; this site provides bulletins, maps, and other information on tropical storms as they are occurring.  Data archives for past seasons are available at

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
, “NOAA predicts near-normal or below-normal 2014 Atlantic hurricane season,” 5/22/14 news release, online at full Atlantic hurricane outlook, providing more details than the news release, is available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center, online at

National Weather Service
, “What is a Tropical Cyclone?”; online at

Virginia Department of Emergency Management
, “Hurricanes,” online at regarding Virginia’s Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday can be found at

Virginia Department of Transportation
, “Hurricane Evacuation Guide,” online at

Virginia Water News and Other Information
            For news, events, and resources relevant to Virginia's water resources, grouped into categories, please visit the Virginia Water Central News Grouper, available online at