South Carolina could face big threats as hurricane season spins through its peak weeks | News

This is it, the days surfer Blue Spivey looks forward to all winter. The days he can go online and watch those big, long swells rolling across the Atlantic Ocean like they do all year out in California.

You’ve got to be ready to roll, he said. He’ll toss a couple of surfboards and a towel into his Honda and just go. It’s nothing for the 40-year-old James Island resident to drive six hours down the coast for two hours in the surf.

An East Coast surfers’ dream, he said, is to ride those huge swells coming in ahead of hurricanes, from Florida all the way back north.

This year they might get a very good chance at it.

A federal forecaster on Wednesday called for more hurricane activity ahead for the rest of the season and he didn’t mince words, saying the next few months could be extremely active.

That might well mean a lot more than big swells for the Southeast and South Carolina, where conditions are rife for more tropical cyclones — a sort of junior severe storm — to a significant hurricane.

The Atlantic basin has moved into the Cape Verde period, the two months when storms off the coast of West Africa can spin into powerful hurricanes crossing the Atlantic, threatening disastrous damage on the Southeast coast.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration lead seasonal forecaster Gerry Bell compared conditions in the Atlantic to the 2010 season, when 21 tropical cyclones not yet of full hurricane strength formed. More than half of them became hurricanes, including five “major” hurricanes with catastrophically damaging winds of more than 110 mph.

At least four of those storms passed offshore South Carolina, or headed to it at one point, with winds of at least 130 mph.

Historically, nine of every 10 hurricanes occur after Aug. 10, said Phil Klotzbach of the Tropical Meteorology Project.

Devastating Hurricane Hugo in September 1989 was…

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