Do you remember last September? That was that time – or course – when hurricane season opened in the US, and I remember very well because I was writing this story for the Tampa Bay Times. I was standing on the beach when the sky turned from brilliant azure to churning brown – a fusillade of sirens signaling that a hurricane had just passed over Tarpon Springs, causing a storm surge of several feet, a couple of uprooted trees and, no doubt, a few deaths.
Has the season changed much since then? There’s one thing to know: it really hasn’t. Nearly all the storms we’ve seen so far have been what meteorologists call “major” storms. The US Government’s Hurricane Forecast Center calls this category “strong, high-end, evolving, very active.”
That’s what we’ve had, with minimal non-conformity to the kind of intensity forecasts we have. The big difference, of course, is that Florida is now a much bigger state. Their population has been growing for decades, and “active” storms like this one are very different from hurricanes like Harvey that hit Houston during “the quiet” hurricane season that followed Irma.
Still, I’m thinking that both us and most other people have been better prepared for “active” or “mega” storms. We’ve got plenty of backups, as has our insurance companies. We better do the same thing next time!