'Near normal' hurricane season projected; state tax holiday set for this weekend
Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released it’s 2014 Atlantic hurricane season forecast.
Forecasters are predicting a “near normal” season with the possibility of the season falling below the average, but continue to warn that it takes only one storm to make a season bad, particularly for the area in which it occurs.
The outlook released Thursday calls for a 70-percent likelihood that eight to 13 named storms could occur this season, of which three to six could become hurricanes. Of those hurricanes, there’s a chance that one or two could develop into major hurricanes defined as a Category 3, 4 or 5 storms with wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or higher.
This is at or below the average season, which is based on averages from 1981 to 2010. The average season includes 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, according to the NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
The main driver of this year’s outlook is the anticipated development of El Niño this summer. El Niño causes stronger wind shear, which reduces the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes. El Niño can also strengthen the trade winds and increase the atmospheric stability across the tropical Atlantic, making it more difficult for cloud systems coming off of Africa to intensify into tropical storms.
BATON ROUGE – Stores in Acadia Parish should expect to be busy this weekend.
Not only is it Memorial Day weekend, but it just so happens to fall as the state’s annual sales tax holiday on sales of hurricane-preparedness items or supplies.
It is important to remember this holiday only removes state sales tax from eligible purchases. Local taxes still apply.
Louisiana Revised Statute 47:305.58 allows for the two-day holiday. Tax-free purchases are authorized on the first $1,500 of the sales price of the eligible items. They include:
• Portable self-powered light source;
• Portable self-powered radio, two-way radio or weather band radio;
• Tarpaulin or other flexible waterproof sheeting;
• Any ground anchor system or tie-down kit;
• Any gas or diesel fuel tank;
• Any package of AAA-cell, AA-cell, C-cell, D-cell, 6-volt or 9-volt batteries, excluding automobile and boat batteries;
• Any cellular phone battery and any cellular phone charger;
• Any non-electric food storage cooler;
• Any portable generator used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage;
• Any “storm shutter device,” as defined in the Act;
• Any carbon monoxide detector; and
• Any blue ice product.
The 2014 sales tax holiday will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 24, and conclude at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, May 25.