Hurricane Season starts on June 1 and ends on November 30 in the Tampa Bay. This is the official Atlantic hurricane season, though hurricanes can begin as early as May or end as late as December.
The term "hurricane" is a regionally
specific name for a strong tropical cyclone (a low-pressure system over tropical or sub-tropical waters, frequently occurring with thunderstorms and circulating winds.
There are 5 categories of Hurricanes. Categorized by the Saffir-Simpson Scale, the categories measure the wind intensity of a hurricane. Category 1 is the lowest at 74-95 mph, while Category 5 is the highest at hurricanes measuring 155+ mph.
No matter what category a hurricane is measured at, all hurricanes have the potential to be life-threatening and require caution.
When there is a possible hurricane threat, there will be four advisories issued: Tropical Storm Watch, Tropical Storm Warning, Hurricane Watch and Hurricane Warning.
A Tropical Storm Watch is announced when tropical storm conditions with winds of
39-73 mph are possible within a specified coastal area
within 48 hours.
A Tropical Storm Warning is issued when these conditions are actually expected within the specified coastal area
within 36 hours.
A Hurricane Watch is announced when hurricane conditions of winds 74 mph or higher are possible within a specified coastal area. A Hurricane Watch will be announced 48 hours in advance of an anticipated storm force.
A Hurricane Warning will be issued when hurricane conditions are actually expected. Hurricane Warnings are issued 36 hours in advance.
Warm ocean temperatures and high humidity contribute to greater storm activity.
The first official hurricane to make landfall in and cause serious water damage Tampa was in 1921. It hit late October and was a Category 4. It caused nearly $10 million damage at the time.
The best thing you can do if you live in a hurricane prone are is be prepared. Follow advice of authorities and know your evacuation route. Have a plan ready for your family, children and pets. Have your important papers in a waterproof safe that you can easily access if you need to evacuate.
It is a good idea to have a hurricane emergency kit on hand as well (batteries, candles, flashlights etc.). Keep non-perishable foods and water on hand.
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