Long-time residents of South Florida are accustomed to preparing, and even riding out, hurricanes that lay waste to all they touch. An ever-increasing number of people are flocking to the state and there are some important things everyone should know about the tropical storms.
Hurricanes are Unpredictable
Technological advances enable meteorologists to predict the track of a hurricane with greater accuracy. However, sometimes Mother Nature seems to have a mind of her own. The storm’s track can change at the last minute, depending on water. temperature and prevailing winds. They can quickly escalate or deescalate in intensity. They don’t always merely strike and quickly move on. They can cycle and hang around an area for days.
When to Prepare
The time to prepare for hurricane season is before it actually arrives. Waiting until a hurricane is on the horizon is a bad idea, whether you’re evacuating or trying to ride out the storm. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to find food, water or plywood to board up your windows, all those items will be in short supply. Create a plan of action before its needed and don’t forget to include pets in the planning.
Hurricanes are fueled by warm waters. The temperature of the ocean’s surface affects the risk of a hurricane developing and its severity. Every 1° increase in ocean temperature increases risk by 10 percent. El Nino winds and the warming of the waters in the Gulf of Mexico has a major impact on the formation of turbulent storms, the height of storm surges, and wind speed. Storm surges are reaching further inland than ever before.
Enjoy the summer, but remain vigilant and pay attention to weather reports. Listen to local TV and radio, use a phone app, or sign up for alerts from the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and/or Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Safety is always the No. 1 priority. Possessions can be replaced. Evacuate if advised to do so, as rescue personnel won’t be able to help during the height of a hurricane.
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