NOAA gears up for 2017 hurricane season

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.t’s been nearly 12 years since a major hurricane hit Southwest Florida.
But the threat always looms.

That’s why the National Hurricane Hurricane Center is establishing a storm surge watch and warning system to keep residents safe should a tropical storm or hurricane make landfall.

Daniel Brown, a senior hurricane specialist at the center, believes the system could save countless lives.

“Southwest Florida is one of the most vulnerable areas in the country for storm surge,” he said. “It’s not just along the immediate coast; it actually extends tens of miles inland.”

Hurricane forecasters will also be looking at video from a new satellite called GOES-16, which will give them a better idea of how powerful a storm is.

Weather Channel senior hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross urged Southwest Floridians to prepare with the start of hurricane season just two weeks away.

“No one in Southwest Florida has ever seen a real hurricane hit,” he said. “Even with Wilma and Donna and 1944, none of them in the 20th century are what we would consider to be anywhere remotely near a moderate hurricane hit.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will release its initial outlook for the Atlantic season next Thursday.

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