Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ready or not, it's hurricane season

Florida's last direct strike: Hurricane Wilma, October 2005
 Today marks the first day of the 2011 Atlantic basin hurricane season. Get use to hearing words like “center of circulation” and “tropical storm warning,” and names like Arlene, Cindy and Gert over the coming months. Here are some other tidbits to chew on:


The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration is predicting 12 to 18 named storms. Six to 10 could become hurricanes and three to six major hurricanes. Another interesting fact: Eight of the 13 busiest hurricane years have occurred since 2000. The all-time high for storms (28) was in 2005. That’s the last time Florida took a direct hit, too, with Wilma. (Find great video on Wilma here.)


Knock on wood, but our county has escaped most hurricane seasons on record relatively unscathed. According to a recent study by the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, only eight tropical storms or hurricanes have significantly impacted Manatee by either tides or winds.


We asked BayNews9 meteorologist Josh Linker for the single-most important piece of advice he would offer to Manatee residents heading into hurricane season. He simply put it this way: Get your plan in place. “Make sure that you know exactly what you need to do in the event that a hurricane or tropical storm is going to affect your area,” he said. “The last thing you want to do when the storm is approaching is to first start worrying about it.”


Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince, Whitney

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