What you need to know about storm risk this hurricane season

Written by Adrienne Webster, CNN

A year after Irma shattered the Gulf Coast, humans have begun the task of rebuilding — but there is plenty of damage to undo.

Throughout the devastated region, Florida has begun to put in motion the giant, multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects necessary to get the damage to an acceptable level of livability. And of course, all of these challenges present new challenges for Miami’s coastal communities. The city has been called the “Canary in the coal mine” for climate change impacts, and is set to bear the brunt of sea level rise and ocean surge in the coming decades.

Before the storm, the Atlantic hurricane season was expected to last slightly over two months, with typical peak days in the beginning and the latter part of August, but hurricane season officially opened on June 1 and the window isn’t expected to close until November 30, when the very worst of the storm surge is gone.

Northeast waters are set to warm up after the warmest March in 115 years

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2018 outlook for Atlantic hurricanes, which predicted a “near- or above-normal” season, is shaping up to be even more accurate than previous years. In their statement, NOAA stated that, “while such activity (landfalling hurricanes and tropical storms) is not unprecedented, the most recent 10 years have seen the fewest average or below-average years on record, on average. Based on trends in ocean temperatures and atmospheric weather patterns, NOAA is predicting an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season this year.”

Sea levels are expected to rise nearly a foot by 2100, with a 2-foot rise this century, and with other factors in place like rising sea temperatures, sea level is already rising with 6 millimeters in 2016, according to NOAA. “The study reaffirms long-term trends in sea level rise, with the World Resources Institute reporting that the sea level is 6 cm above pre-industrial levels.”

President Donald Trump earlier this month rejected the findings of the National Climate Assessment, as he does with many climate change-related scientific findings from previous studies.

“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump said.

Yes, everything we know about the powerful hurricanes Irma and Maria made landfall just before the Atlantic hurricane season kicked off, but what to expect in the coming years — both are expected to be extremely active. Below is our breakdown of these five things you should keep in mind when planning ahead for hurricane season.

– Adrienne Webster is a CNN analyst and host of The Atlantic’s “Brink” at 8 p.m. ET/PT. She is a CNN meteorologist, a creative director for Time Inc. and a classically trained French horn player.

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