Every hurricane season is different, yet history shows some noteworthy trends. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel did an analysis of storms over the past 100 years and determined that Florida was hit most frequently (21 times) by Category 1 systems. But donâ€™t ever dismiss a â€śweak hurricaneâ€ť as a weakling.
A Category 1 storm packs wind speeds of 74 to 95 miles per hour. To some storm-tested Floridians, that may seem like no big deal. But itâ€™s been a long time since wind approaching anywhere near that strength passed through. Your memory of a â€śgentle breezeâ€ť of 80 mph is likely a little faded (no offense).
Forget about the wind for just a moment. Think about tropical weather all by itself. Weâ€™ve had lots of rain in parts of the state. In the first three days of this month, areas around Tampa Bay have already received close to the one-month average for rainfall. (How many times have you emptied your pool in the past few days?) Two words: Flood insurance. The most common natural disaster is flooding, and your homeowners policy does not cover it. You need a separate policy from the National Flood Insurance Program.
The Weather Channelâ€™s â€śHurricane Centralâ€ť website has a list of the 10 most overdue hurricane cities. Four Florida cities are on the list: Tampa is #1, Naples is #2, Jacksonville is #3 â€“ and Key West is ranked #9.
Over the past 100 years, Florida has experienced 64 hurricanes. Do the storm categories matter? Yes, in a way. But what matters more is preparing for one and knowing what to do afterward. No time like the present, since the National Hurricane Center is tracking a potential hurricane now.