Everyone who lives in Florida knows to keep an eye toward the horizon, particularly as the summer months draw to a close. The process of squirreling nonperishables in the hall closet and contemplating best escape tactics have become routine while preparing for hurricane season. Despite our recent balmy weather conditions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is warning people to stay on their toes.
A recent NOAA report is predicting the chance of an "above average" hurricane season to 45 percent. El Niño, which tempers atmospheric conditions, has ended, returning the Atlantic to a neutral but potentially volatile state. Experts at NOAA anticipate that there will be 10-17 named storms between now and the end of hurricane season in November, with between five and nine of those becoming hurricanes and potential for two to four to be considered “major.” It is uncertain how many will ultimately make landfall, since weekly weather patterns affect storm paths dramatically.
NOAA encourages residents to take safety precautions now for a potentially dangerous season. Beyond stocking up on water and identifying northern relatives willing to take in strays, NOAA recommends becoming familiar with the perils of storm surges and suggests actively tracking weather conditions. Taking action now ensures that if, down the road, Humberto or Olga decides to turn their eye our way, we'll be ready for them.