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Florida Hurricane Season: Predictions and Preparation

As temperatures rise in the Sunshine State, people all across the State of Florida know it is time to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Hurricanes are formed by the rising of warm air over the ocean, making Florida a common target for these violent storms due to its location between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic OceanĀ  (How Do Hurricanes Form?, n.d.). With the recent memory of 2022 Hurricane Ian, most Floridians are aware of the dangerous nature of hurricanes. Still, many individuals choose not to prepare or evacuate unless the storm reaches a Category 5 (Kearney, 2023). Given the catastrophic consequences of these storms, Floridians must stay attentive to updates on the storm season and remain prepared to follow the instruction of government officials in the case of an incoming hurricane.

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When is Peak Hurricane Season?

The hurricane season lasts six months, beginning on June 1st and ending on November 30th (Hurricanes – Florida Climate Center, n.d.). While storms can form within any point of this time frame, the peak hurricane season occurs between the middle of August to the end of October. Certain areas of Florida are at a higher risk from hurricanes, but even low-risk areas far away from the coast can feel the impacts of the storm. For this reason, it is necessary to stay vigilant about the state of the upcoming storm season by checking forecasts throughout these months.

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What is the Predicted State of the Upcoming Hurricane Season?

The predicted state of the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be fairly typical. Scientists predict a range of 12 to 17 named storms, 5 to 9 of which will be hurricanes (Lewis, 2023). Out of these hurricanes, 1 to 4 are expected to be major. However, as Floridians saw with Hurricane Ian, even one major hurricane can do catastrophic damage. Predictions indicate that there is a 44% chance that the hurricane will make landfall along the U.S. Coastline with 22% for the U.S. East Coast, including the Florida peninsula and 28% on the Gulf Coast, including the Florida Panhandle (Fox 35 News, 2023).Ā 

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While this hurricane season is predicted to be fairly typical, this is true due to a variety of factors, including both El NiƱo and competing weather conditions in other areas that reduce the likelihood of above average hurricane activity in the Atlantic (Metz, 2023). In general, scientists predict that hurricanes will increase in severity in the future due to climate change (Colbert, 2022). For this reason, it is important for Floridians to create a hurricane preparedness plan.

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Hurricane Preparedness List

Due to the immense destructive capabilities of hurricanes, it is crucial to prioritize safety by following state precautions in the situation of an incoming storm. To prepare for an incoming hurricane, the first step is to check the weather forecasts. Forecasters record data using differentĀ computer modelsĀ to show the potential path of the storm, with the National Hurricane Center providing the most accurate models that can often predict the storm’s path two to three days in advanceĀ (Hurricane Season Preparedness | State of Florida, n.d.). Floridians can use these storm models to determine the necessary course of action as they prepare for a hurricane. While these models are fairly accurate, Floridians should listen to evacuation orders and be prepared to evacuate to a safe place in case the storm changes paths.Ā 

Whether choosing to evacuate or stay in place as a storm approaches, Floridians are advised to create hurricane kits. Since people naturally tend to only prepare when a hurricane warning has been issued, the State of Florida encourages purchasing essential items before a hurricane warning. A hurricane will inevitably lead to the closure of stores, power outages, and water shortages, so hurricane kits should include items like non-perishable food, water, flashlights, first-aid kits, and more. Additionally, people are urged to buy gas, fill their bathtubs fully, and keep their cell phones fully charged before a storm to prepare for these common issues due to the hurricane. Last, the State of Florida gives guidelines on ways to secure your home, such as by shuttering the windows and removing any outside furniture, to prevent damage to your home and those within it.


Image Source: Canva

References

Colbert, A. (2022, June 16). A Force of Nature: Hurricanes in a Changing Climate. Nasa Global Climate Change. https://climate.nasa.gov/news/3184/a-force-of-nature-hurricanes-in-a-changing-climate/

Fox 35 News. (2023, April 13). Below-average Atlantic Hurricane Season? Hereā€™s what that could mean for Florida. FOX 35 Orlando. https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/below-average-atlantic-hurricane-season-heres-what-that-could-mean-for-florida

Hurricanes – Florida Climate Center. (n.d.). https://climatecenter.fsu.edu/topics/hurricanes

Hurricane Season Preparedness | State of Florida. (n.d.). https://www.stateofflorida.com/articles/hurricane-preparedness-guide/

How do hurricanes form? (n.d.). https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/how-hurricanes-form.html

Kearney, B. (2023). How Do Floridians Prepare (or Not) for Hurricane Season? Governing. https://www.governing.com/climate/how-do-floridians-prepare-or-not-for-hurricane-season#:~:text=A%20recent%20survey%20found%20that,5%20for%20them%20to%20leave.&text=A%20recent%20hurricane%20prep%20survey,t%20plan%20%E2%80%94%20for%20deadly%20storms.

Lewis, R. (2023, June 1). The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season has begun. Here are the 21 storm names. NPR. https://www.npr.org/2023/06/01/1179327947/2023-atlantic-hurricane-season-names#:~:text=The%20six%2Dmonth%20season%20runs,year%20to%20be%20fairly%20typical

Metz, J. (2023, June 2). Experts Predict ā€œNear Normalā€ 2023 Hurricane Season. Forbes Advisor. https://www.forbes.com/advisor/homeowners-insurance/2023-hurricane-season/

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