The “average” Atlantic hurricane season will be a little more active going forward.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has updated its definition of an “average” Atlantic hurricane season, adding two more named tropical storms and one more hurricane than before.

Starting with forecasts for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC) will use 1991-2020 as the new 30-year period of record for climatological history. Going forward, the average Atlantic hurricane season will see 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

Previously, NOAA used records from 1981-2010, giving the average season 12 named tropical storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or greater.

NOAA said that this once-a-decade update moves the set of statistics used to determine when hurricane seasons are above-, near-, or below-average relative to the climate record.

Source: “‘Average’ season now has 2 more named storms, 1 more hurricane: NOAA,” Artemis, April 12, 2021

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The legalization of recreational marijuana in New York State could make it more difficult for contractors to ensure jobsite safety and may open them up for more liability, thanks to the state’s “Scaffold Law,” which imposes absolute liability on contractors for gravity-related injuries—even if the worker is impaired.

The concerns don’t just end at safety and liability. Because marijuana can stay in a user’s system for weeks, there’s no readily available test to determine when the drug was ingested—on the job or at home during a worker’s off hours.

“While it may be legal to use cannabis products recreationally once the law takes effect, it’s not OK to come to work impaired,” said Mike Elmendorf, CEO of Associated General Contractors of New York State. “The real challenge is that the science of cannabis impairment testing is not really there yet. It’s not like if you think somebody is drunk, and you can administer a breathalyzer.”

Instead, the site superintendent will need to determine whether workers are high on the job and take action to send them home.

The legalization could also make it more difficult for New York contractors to obtain workers compensation insurance.

Source: “NY pot law creates safety, liability issues for contractors,” Construction Dive, April 12, 2021

Topics Catastrophe Natural Disasters New York Hurricane Contractors Cannabis