Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Some Preseason Doings Off The Florida Coast



# 10,017


As a Floridian with more than enough hurricane notches in my belt for a lifetime, I always approach the start of the Atlantic Tropical Storm season (June 1st) with a small amount of trepidation. 


While I’ve swallowed the anchor (aka `moved landside’), nothing beats riding through a couple of rowdy tropical storms aboard a small sailboat to instill a lifelong respect for these powerful storms.




Rarely, we will  see the development of one of these tropical systems outside the traditional June1st-Nov 31st hurricane season.  May leads the pack with 20 such storms (between 1851-2013), followed by December with 17.  But February, March, and April each have one on record as well.   


Most, thankfully, never reach hurricane strength. Although as anyone who went through the March superstorm of 1993 will attest, having tropical characteristics, a name, and hurricane status are sometimes overrated. 


This unnamed system claimed more than 300 lives and inflicted more than $6 billion dollars in damage as it swept out of the Gulf and up the Atlantic Seaboard.


All of which makes it unusual, but not unheard of, that NOAA’s National Hurricane Center finds itself monitoring an area of suspicion – with potential to develop – off the southern coast of Florida.   Interests along the Florida and Southeastern United States Coast are urged to monitor its progress over the next few days.



800 AM EDT WED MAY 6 2015

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

Disorganized showers and thunderstorms extending over portions of Florida, the Bahamas, and adjacent waters are associated with an upper-level trough and a weak surface low located over the northwestern Bahamas.  The aircraft reconnaissance mission scheduled for this afternoon has been cancelled.  However, conditions are expected to become gradually more favorable for development over the next day or so while the system moves slowly northward.  A subtropical or tropical cyclone could form by Thursday or Friday, and interests along the southeast coast of the United States should monitor the progress of this system through the weekend. The next Special Tropical Weather Outlook will be issued on this system by 8 PM EDT today. For additional information, see High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service.

* Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...60 percent
* Formation chance through 5 days...medium...60 percent


We’ll spend a fair amount of time looking at hurricane preparedness during National Hurricane Preparedness Week at the end of May.  Disasters, however, don’t read calendars and so it is always prudent to prepare sooner rather than later.


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