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. Trump accuses Clinton of colluding with Democrats to defeat 'Crazy Bernie Sanders'

    National

    In the wake of a bombshell story about Russia's meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election - and persistent allegations that President Donald Trump's campaign may have colluded with Russia to win - Trump took to Twitter Sunday morning to accuse someone else of collusion: his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

    President Donald Trump speaks during the "American Leadership in Emerging Technology" event in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Washington. [AP Photo/Evan Vucci]
  2. Vending machines to give 100,000 free books to Florida kids

    Education

    FORT LAUDERDALE — Children in South Florida will soon be able to get free books from vending machines.

  3. Afraid of sharks in Florida? Flu, asteroids pose far greater risk

    Wildlife

    BOSTON — You might want a bigger boat, but you probably don't need better odds.

    FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2012 file photo, Captain Brett McBride places his hand on the snout of a great white shark while scientists collect blood, tissue samples and attach tracking devices on the research vessel Ocearch off the coast of Chatham, Mass. Before release, the nearly 15-foot, 2,292-pound shark was named Genie for famed shark researcher Eugenie Clark. Great white sharks are making their annual return to Cape Cod, rattling some boaters and beachgoers. Yet the chances of an attack resulting in serious injury or death are infinitesimally small. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, File) BX302
  4. For starters: Rays lineup vs Orioles

    Blogs

     

  5. Pepin daughters to take on Mount Kilimanjaro

    Human Interest

    About seven years ago, Tom Pepin and his four daughters stood at 12,000 feet, overlooking the Colorado Rockies during an outward bound survival training mission.

    From left, Christina Pepin, Lauren Pepin (Tom’s Wife), Cassie Pepin, Allie Pepin, Bella Pepin and Tom Pepin take a break during an outward bound survival training mission in Colorado.