The Fifth Season: Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Capital area has been rather fortunate since Gustav with relatively little tropical-weather damage over the past ten years. Yet the Red Stick's good fortune hasn't been shared equally across the Bayou State.

Since Gustav, seven tropical storms and hurricanes have impacted Louisiana. They include 2008's Hurricane Ike, the deadly Hurricane Isaac of 2012, and tropical storms Cindy and Harvey plus Hurricane Nate just last year.

An array of pre-season forecasts for tropical activity are issued by groups like NOAA, Colorado State University, and a number of other private, public, and university-based research teams. Yet these seasonal forecasts really don't offer useful insight as to the potential threat of a tropical landfall in Louisiana.  Louisiana has been directly impacted in low-number years, like 1992 when Andrew came calling, and has made it storm-free during some extra-busy tropical seasons, like 2010.

History shows us that, on average, there is a 50-50 chance of at least one 'named storm' impacting some part of the state each year.  And multiple hits for the Bayou State are far from rare: there have been 18 hurricane seasons since 1900 when two or more tropical systems have impacted Sportsman's Paradise.

Bottom line: regardless of what you hear from experts regarding landfall threats for the United States, the First Alert Storm Team recommends that you prepare for tropical weather EVERY season, including this one.

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