On November 30, Harris County officials officially marked the conclusion of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season, taking the opportunity to emphasize the importance of continuous preparedness beyond the designated season.
While the county experienced a fortunate reprieve from tropical weather during the year, residents still grappled with unprecedented summer temperatures and drought conditions, highlighting the need for a resilient community approach. Mark Sloan, Harris County Emergency Management Coordinator, stressed the necessity of preparedness for various potential events, including hurricanes, floods, extreme cold, or heat.
The 2023 season witnessed a total of 19 named storms, with seven evolving into hurricanes, including major hurricanes Franklin, Idalia, and Lee. Tropical Storm Arlene emerged on June 2, and a burst of activity in August brought forth four tropical storms within a span of less than 48 hours: Emily, Franklin, Gert, and Harold. While Harris County avoided a direct hit from a major storm, parts of south Texas experienced heavy rains and high winds from Tropical Storm Harold, which made landfall on Padre Island.
Tropical Storm Tammy, the final system of the active season, formed on October 18. It intensified into a Category 2 Hurricane, maintaining that strength for five days before being downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone.
Even though the official hurricane season has concluded, HCOHSEM continues to urge residents to remain vigilant and well-informed throughout the year. Residents can proactively sign up for emergency alerts and access valuable disaster preparedness tools, including checklists, hurricane brochures, and resources for children, by visiting www.readyharris.org.
Looking ahead, the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season is set to commence on June 1, 2024. The county encourages residents to prioritize preparedness as an ongoing commitment to community resilience.