Today has come. There is a little dread in this day. Today marks the start of the fourth month of the 2010 Hurricane Season. This is typically the most active month. It is also the month when it starts to cool. It marks the end of summer. September is the start of school. Yeah, September 1 is here.
The month of September has always been associated with the start of the new school year. Depending on where you are in life, this can either be a bad thing or something good. If you are in grade school or junior high, the end of summer and the start of the school year probably ranks right up there with going to the dentist. If you are one of the parents to a student in grade school or junior high, today is your day to laugh, jump up and down, and do cartwheels on your front lawn.
For those of you without children in school, this is the day high school kids go back to school. This may help reduce the gridlock on the roadways, at least from the hours of 7 am to about 4 pm.
For the college kids, it is the time to escape the confines of the paternal and maternal trappings of the old homestead. For the young adults leaving home for the first time, September 1 means newfound freedom and a chance to meet with new friends and text them while they are in their dorm rooms and you in yours – just across the hall. Yes, it is good to escape the parental elements – at least until you need more money.
Here in Florida the real significance of September 1 is, as mentioned, the fourth and typically most active month of the hurricane season. For the next three months the South Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico will be alive with potential storms. To what degree depends on two factors: the water temperature and the humidity of the air masses overlying the water.
Most who have lived in the state any length of time know how to deal with hurricanes fairly well. When the weather systems create a tropical depression, some of us watch it very carefully. If the tropical depression turns into a tropical storm, more of us give it extra awareness. If the storm increases in size and wind speed, it may become a hurricane. Now everyone is paying attention. Careful attention.
As it nears the state, one of two things will happen. We either board up and prepare for the storm, or we leave. Sometimes it is time to visit relatives up north in the month of September.
If you are new to Florida and you have never seen a hurricane before, here are some important points to keep in mind. First, if the authorities say to get out, pack up only your essential stuff and go. There is a reason they are telling you to leave. Unfortunately, a few have learned the hard way you cannot mess with Mother Nature, particularly in her veil as a hurricane.
Too many people tend to underestimate of the ferocity of hurricanes. Keep in mind it is not only the hurricane that is dangerous; hurricanes tend to spawn tornadoes in their wake. So if they say go, go home back North and visit awhile, while the hurricane stops in to visit Florida.
And then, don’t be in a hurry to return until the power company restores the electricity and the local government has city services working again. Life in Florida after a hurricane without air conditioning and working plumbing just isn’t pleasant.
September 1 can be disheartening, but there is something good about the coming of September – Gator football!
© 2010 J. Clark