Hurricane season is upon us
The Atlantic hurricane season starts Sunday, June 1, and continues to November 30. Will we luck out again? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts that three to six hurricanes will form in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. That’s a bit less than average. Intensity is expected to be less than average, too. Florida is the U.S. hurricane capital, but a direct hurricane hit on the state has not occurred since Wilma in 2005. For that, we can thank El Nino, the warming of the Pacific Ocean off South America, which results in fewer storms in the western Atlantic. Tropical storms have winds over 39 miles an hour. Hurricanes have winds over 74. The names for Atlantic storms this season start with Arthur, Bertha and Cristobal. May 25 to 31 is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Even if the forecast is promising, we are reminded to assemble an emergency kit: Water and canned food to last three days, a manual can opener, a flashlight and extra batteries, your insurance policy, plenty of cash and a battery-operated or hand-cranked radio. For more information about hurricanes and hurricane preparedness, go to wqcs.org, pull down the News menu and click on Hurricane Information. For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.