Well, today is the first day of the season.
Which season, you ask? On the first day of June, anyone asking that question is definitely not from Florida. On the first day of June, every true Floridian knows exactly what season to which anyone is referring when talking about “the season.”
Today is the first official day of the 2011 Hurricane Season.
This is big news. This year, those who prognosticate such things as cyclonic storms in the tropical and semi-tropical climes say there is going to be more than the normal number of storms. Additionally, they will be stronger than past years.
The team at Colorado State University predicts there will be 16 named tropical storms this season. Of these, nine will become hurricanes and five will fall into the “major” category. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts 12 to 18 named storms with six to 10 becoming hurricanes and with three to six of those hurricanes falling into the major category.
For those who live and work in Florida, hurricanes are serious business. Already, there are storms popping up in the tropics that have the eye of many weather observers. Indeed, by tomorrow, the first tropical system may come ashore and, with the dry conditions that now exist in Florida, many are hoping and praying the storm does come across land with significant rains. Many would like to see it hit shore as a tropical depression, or storm; not as a hurricane. Sometimes, the Florida landscape needs water and there is nothing better for the land than a tropical storm that sits for two or three days dumping water on parched land.
It is odd that Florida is dry while Louisiana and the plains have faced serious flooding problems over the last month. With extreme storms and tornadoes ripping through the Midwest and Atlantic states, this is a hint that the Florida hurricane season is going to be tough.
In recent times, Florida has suffered quite a lot in terms of strong hurricanes. In fact, there are still “blue roofs” around the peninsula from the hurricanes of two and three years ago.
The important thing to remember concerning hurricanes is this: listen to the authorities and do what they tell you to do. If local law enforcement agencies say pack up and leave, do it. Don’t delay. If a hurricane is approaching, get out of the way.
Many who are unfamiliar with the destruction a hurricane is capable of may be tempted to invite friends over and have a “hurricane party.” This is the wrong thing to do. A strong hurricane can put anyone in extreme danger and alcohol impairment may just hasten the end of one’s life.
As we move into the summer months, it is time to keep an eye on the tropical weather and radar. Those of us with experience already started paying attention.
© 2011 J. Clark