Monday, May 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Weather

Forecasters predict slow Atlantic hurricane season

NEW YORK — A slower-than-usual hurricane season is expected this year because of an expected El Niño, federal forecasters said Thursday, but they warned that it takes only one storm to wreak havoc and urged Americans to be prepared.

El Niño, which warms part of the Pacific every few years and changes rain and temperature patterns around the world, will likely reduce the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in New York City.

Cooler temperatures on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean than in recent years will also lower the probability of hurricane formation.

"El Niño helps to reduce the ability of storm systems coming off Africa to strengthen into tropical storms and hurricanes," said Gerry Bell, NOAA's top hurricane season forecaster.

Bell cautioned that El Niño has not yet developed and officials have not yet issued any forecasts for it.

Officials expect about eight to 13 named tropical storms and three to six hurricanes. One or two major hurricanes with winds over 110 miles per hour are forecast.

The six-month storm season begins June 1.

Forecasters got it wrong last year when they predicted an unusually busy hurricane season. There were 13 named storms and two hurricanes, Umberto and Ingrid, both of which were Category 1, the lowest on the scale that measures hurricanes by wind speed. There were no major hurricanes.

In 2012, storm surge was devastating to the New York area when Superstorm Sandy slammed the East Coast, killing 147 people and causing $50 billion in damage. Sandy lost hurricane status when it made landfall in New Jersey.

A new mapping tool this year will keep coastal residents updated on the storm surge threat, using tides and currents to predict how high the surge might be and where exactly it will hit, said Holly Bamford, director of NOAA's National Ocean Service.

"Storm surge can be deadly," Bamford said. "It only takes 6 inches of fast-moving water to knock an adult over."

The map will be activated when a hurricane or tropical storm watch is announced, or about 48 hours before the onset of tropical storm force winds, and updated along with National Weather Service advisories every six hours.

The Atlantic hurricane season goes through cycles of high and low activity about every 25 to 40 years based on large-scale climate patterns. Since 1995, an average season has 15 named tropical storms, eight hurricanes and about four major storms. The last time a major hurricane made landfall in the United States was when Wilma came ashore in 2005, an eight-year stretch that is the longest on record.

During the six-month season, forecasters name tropical storms when top winds reach 39 mph; hurricanes have sustained winds of at least 74 mph.

Comments
Less than one year after historic flooding, Alafia River spills its banks again

Less than one year after historic flooding, Alafia River spills its banks again

LITHIA — Frank Rodriguez was still several hundred yards from his house Monday when he pulled his SUV to the side of the road and changed into a pair of beach shoes.Ahead of him, the way home along River Drive was submerged. He was spared a wade thro...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Forecasters monitoring system in Caribbean as rain persists across Tampa Bay

Forecasters monitoring system in Caribbean as rain persists across Tampa Bay

More tropical showers and thunderstorms could be headed to Tampa Bay as a low pressure system that is developing in Western Caribbean waters is expected to track up through the Gulf of Mexico, promising more rain for an already soggy region. Much lik...
Published: 05/21/18
A warm, muggy Saturday with maybe some rain this afternoon

A warm, muggy Saturday with maybe some rain this afternoon

Expect a nice day, but keep an umbrella handy, especially for later in the afternoon.The forecast from the National Weather Service in Ruskin calls for warm and muggy temperatures around the Tampa Bay area today and Sunday with daytime highs in the l...
Published: 05/19/18
Forecast: Rainy weather sticking around Tampa Bay this weekend

Forecast: Rainy weather sticking around Tampa Bay this weekend

TAMPA— The dark clouds and intermittent rain that consumed the work week won’t be taking any days off just because the weekend is here as more scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service....
Published: 05/18/18
Forecast: Warm and rainy as Tampa Bay heads into weekend

Forecast: Warm and rainy as Tampa Bay heads into weekend

As temperatures rise Thursday afternoon, so will the chance of rain across the Tampa Bay. Expect to see some heavy cloud cover and scattered showers around lunchtime, according to the National Weather Service.Thursday morning will start with relative...
Published: 05/17/18
Forecast: Blossoming thunderstorms across Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future

Forecast: Blossoming thunderstorms across Tampa Bay for the foreseeable future

ST. PETERSBURG — Scattered showers and overcast skies will continue well into next week, as a weak weather system trudging north through the Gulf of Mexico could drop around 6-9 inches of rain across inland regions of Tampa Bay.Although a large area ...
Published: 05/16/18
Forecast: Weakening system will still produce soaking rains across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Weakening system will still produce soaking rains across Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — Following a day of soaking rain from a large low-pressure area that threatened to develop into an early tropical system, there’s some relative relief for the Tampa Bay area.The widespread rain that produced up to 6-8 inches in some a...
Published: 05/15/18
Dry no more: Tampa Bay is set to get soaked this week

Dry no more: Tampa Bay is set to get soaked this week

Tampa Bay’s dryspell ended emphatically on Monday.A low-pressure system churning its way up the Gulf of Mexico doused the region with up to three inches of rain Monday, according to the National Weather Service.The potential tropical system brought s...
Published: 05/14/18
Low pressure system in gulf has

Low pressure system in gulf has "medium" chance of strengthening into tropical or subtropical system this week

ST. PETERSBURG — Clouds, showers and thunderstorms in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico could strengthen into a tropical or subtropical storm affecting Florida in the next few days, National Hurricane Center forecasters predicted Sunday.In a 3:40 p.m. ...
Published: 05/13/18
Updated: 05/14/18
Forecast: Tropical moisture dampens Airfest, weekend plans across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Tropical moisture dampens Airfest, weekend plans across Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — A deep wave of tropical moisture that’s moving through Tampa Bay from the south is making for a dreary outlook for folks hoping to enjoy some sunshine for this weekend’s MacDill AirFest and the long-awaited opening of Julian B. Lane ...
Published: 05/12/18