Sunset over marshes, in Corolla, North Carolina. Photo source: ©© Sugarliding
Friday marks the beginning of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. Cue the groans, the crossed fingers and the hope that mad rushes for plywood and batteries will wait for another year. Many of you are probably wondering what’s the chance that you will get hit this year.
As residents of Eastern North Carolina know well, hurricanes are not idle threats. According to the National Climatic Data Center, tropical storm and hurricane strikes are the single most common causes of billion-dollar natural disasters in the United States, accounting for nearly $260 billion in damages between 1980 and 2005, or more than half of the combined losses from all U.S. natural disasters. And since 1851, 18 percent of all hurricane strikes on the United States occurred in North Carolina.
Part of the frustration with hurricanes—and one reason why they are so destructive—is that hurricane strikes are anything but predictable. Along the North Carolina coast, the total number of storm that make landfall varies enormously from year to year…