The first storm of this hurricane season is setting its sites on Florida this week. Forecasters say that the storm is likely to hit the Tampa Bay area sometime on Tuesday. The good news is that this first storm of the season is expected not to even reach hurricane strength before it makes landfall. With this new storm heading toward the US at this time, it causes all folks who live along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast to take notice and get ready for another, predicted, bad hurricane season.
As we all know, 2005 was a terrible year for hurricanes when two “category five” hurricanes were in the Gulf of Mexico within one month of each other. Katrina and Rita are two names that will be remembered in the United States for years to come. Weather forecasters have gone on record saying that this year’s hurricane season should be worse than normal, but not as bad as last year. Let’s hope they are right. What worry’s me are the extremely high temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico. Experts say that even a one-degree higher temperature in those waters can cause these storms to increase dramatically.
Residents in Florida are not taking any chances with “Alberto” and that is great news from a “saving lives” standpoint. While almost everyone in the weather business doesn’t believe this hurricane will do much damage, why take any changes when we have all seen what can happen when these tropical storms grow rapidly once they get into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. I saw on television tonight some homes in the Tampa Bay area which were already boarded up and some residents are taking all storms very seriously this season.
The potential “good news” about “Alberto” is that Central Florida has been having problems with wildfires for the past few months. I remember back in January and February, Central Texas, where I live, experience these same kinds of wildfires. The only thing that eventually helped us out was a bunch of rain and “Tropical Storm Alberto” is expected to bring ten or more inches of rain to most areas in Central Florida by the end of the week. This will be welcome news for the folks who are fighting a battle with these out of control wildfires.
Another positive development since last years hurricane season is that all people in the United States now know and understand how these large hurricanes can disrupt to lives of hundreds of thousands of people for years. Unlike most storms that people face around the country, where there is an hour or two of bad weather and they can return home. These massive hurricanes destroy everything in their path and pretty much leave cities, sometimes-large ones, like New Orleans unlivable for many months. Last year was a “big-time” wake up call for everyone who lives near a large body of water to take hurricanes seriously.
I have always heard that people take “mother-nature” for granted at their own risk and if the 2005 Hurricane Season didn’t prove that to folks loud and clear, then don’t know what would.