Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Five things to know as 2011 hurricane season begins

The 2011 hurricane season begins quietly today after six straight years without a direct hit to Florida. Don't get too comfortable, emergency planners say, and stay informed. Here are five things to know about this year's hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30.

A busy season predicted ... again: All the major hurricane prediction organizations forecast a busy season. NOAA's latest forecast predicts 12-18 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-6 major hurricanes (111 mph or higher). Forecasters predicted an active season last year, and it was — 19 named storms and 12 hurricanes — but none came our way.

Hurricane immunity: Indian blessings, iron deposits in the bay, ionic flux — there are many theories for why no hurricane has hit Tampa Bay since 1921. Jeff Masters of weatherunderground.com offers this: As the Earth rotates, three major bands of wind blow in alternating directions. In the tropics, the band moves east, and in the mid-latitudes area, the band moves west. Tampa Bay falls between those bands and that could shift storms away from us. Or, he adds, maybe we're just lucky.

Neutral season ahead: We're moving out of La Niña conditions, which tend to produce busier Atlantic hurricane seasons, but not quite entering El Niño, when wind shear hampers hurricane formation, into a neutral phase. Not good. "It's like everything has calmed down and the ocean is pretty close to normal," said Bay News 9 chief meteorologist Mike Clay. "Time to kick up some hurricanes."

Sea-surface temperatures: Warm water feeds hurricanes, cooler water inhibits them. The bad news for Tampa Bay: Water temperatures in the central Caribbean Sea, where hurricanes that threaten Florida's West Coast tend to begin, are trending warmer than normal.

Bermuda high: One of the biggest factors keeping hurricanes away from Florida and the eastern U.S., the Bermuda high is a mass of high pressure hovering in the Atlantic summer and autumn. It is centered near Bermuda and can extend across the entire Atlantic. The high can steer hurricanes away from Florida, which is what happened last year.

Are you ready? Get tips to help you prepare for hurricane season at tampabay.com/hurricane-guide.

Have questions? Participate in a live chat with St. Petersburg Times hurricane editor Tom Scherberger at 11 a.m. today.



Are you ready? Get tips to help you prepare for hurricane season at tampabay.com/hurricane-guide.

Have questions? Participate in a live chat with our hurricane editor Tom Scherberger at 11 a.m. today at tampabay.com.

What about insurance? Experts say five things will keep property insurance rates trending up. Business, 4B

Five things to know as 2011 hurricane season begins 05/31/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 10:37am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. This Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake is ready for breakfast, dessert or your next party

    Cooking

    This week, food critic Laura Reiley offers thoughts on the Bundt cake, and why it and other retro desserts are making a comeback. Read that story here.

    Lemon Blueberry Coconut Bundt Cake. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  2. Our president, our protests

    Blogs

    Our president has done more to foster national anthem protests than the protestors.

  3. Trump: Objection to NFL protests 'has nothing to do with race'

    National

    MORRISTOWN, New Jersey — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his opposition to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality "has nothing to do with race" but …

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters upon his return to the White House in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Trump insisted Sunday that his opposition to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality "has nothing to do with race" but has to do with "respect for our country and respect for our flag." [Associated PRss]
  4. World War II vet, 97, takes a knee in support of anthem protests

    Human Interest

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On a day when NFL teams grabbed the nation's attention by coordinating demonstrations during the national anthem, a 97-year-old World War II veteran went viral with a solitary show of support for the protests.

    Brennan Gilmore posted a Twitter picture Sunday morning of his grandfather, John Middlemas, kneeling while wearing a veteran's cap. [Twitter]
  5. Florida education news: Shelter duty, charter schools, teacher pay and more

    Blogs

    ON THE JOB TRAINING: Michael Vasallo learns how to run an evacuation shelter on his 21st day as principal of Dunedin Highland Middle School.

    First year principal Michael Vasallo, right, got called into hurricane shelter duty one month into his job.