Four days into the official start of the 2013 hurricane season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, released a list of the top 10 cities most likely to be hit by a hurricane this year.
The list, compiled by the Weather Channel’s senior meteorologist Stu Ostro and hurricane specialist Michael Lowry, states cities were chosen based on storm surge evaluations, evacuation times, population and the number of years since a location was last hit.
The state of Florida secured four spots on the list, with three cities making the top three spots and Tampa being considered the most vulnerable location to be stuck with a potentially deadly storm this season. Naples placed second, with experts claiming a hurricane evacuation in the city would take an estimated 79 hours to remove more than 20,000 of its current residents. Jacksonville came in third, with experts claiming the cities low elevation makes it easily susceptible to flooding and damaging storm surges.
The NOAA said the list wasn’t composed in an effort to scare residents of the potentially effected areas but to make residents in the affected cities aware of possible hurricanes.
“Most cities and towns can go years without being impacted by a hurricane or a tropical storm. That can lead to a feeling of complacency that can be dangerous, or even deadly, when a hurricane hits,” said the report, which also warned that although only Rhode Island made the top 10 list, others East Coast locations are in danger.
“Any town or state that borders the east and even inland states as evidenced by Hurricane Irene in 2011 need to be aware of the possibility that a hurricane will hit their community this year.”
The list comes on the heels of the NOAA's Climate Prediction Center announcement that the East Coast is expected to experience an “active” hurricane season, confirming an anticipated 13 to 20 storms this year with the possibility of up to six potentially being ranked category 3, 4 and 5 on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale. The Eastern Pacific is expected to experience a below-to-normal hurricane season receiving up to a maximum of four potential major hurricanes, according to the NOAA.
Top 10 US Cities Most Vulnerable And Overdue For A Hurricane in 2013:
1. Tampa, Fla.
2. Naples, Fla.
3. Jacksonville, Fla.
4. Honolulu, Hawaii
5. Houston, Texas
6. Savannah, Ga.
7. Mobile, Ala.
8. Charleston, S.C.
9. Key West, Fla.
10. Providence, R.I.