Miami Hurricane Watch
By Verdina Roka
Be Aware, Prepare. Miami Hurricane Watch Season is June 1st through November 30th. The entire US Atlantic and Gulf coastlines must stay prepared for tropical storms and hurricanes during this period. Hurricanes may, rarely, occur outside of these dates.
Historically, the peak storm month is September:
Source: NOAA 100-year Hurricanes by Month.
(NOAA is the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
The NOAA National Hurricane Center is THE source for accurate and timely information. Monitor the NOAA Advisories: NOAA Atlantic Hurricane Advisories. Knowing for yourself what really is, or not, happening out there eases the mind.
All storms are taken seriously. Take cover. They are part of the tropical experience. Florida has strict building codes, especially after our famous 1992 Hurricane Andrew. That is a lot of years of reinforcements, especially for public buildings including hotels. Keep a sane perspective. These are not makeshift island huts that fail nearly every storm. Not to fault island huts, it is a matter of resources.
On the NOAA storm site (above), review the Advisory Reports, Discussion Reports, Graphics, and more. Updates for a threatening storm typically begin on a 12-hour schedule, increasing to every six, four or three hours as conditions escalate. Each Advisory will state what time the next update will be posted.
. . . The Internet can go down . . .
. . . Get a Weather Radio . . .
. . . About Weather Radios . . .
The NOAA graphics give a quick snapshot, so you may not need to decipher every advisory, depending on the threat level. The advisories are typed in all caps, making them somewhat difficult to read.
For verbal discussion of the NOAA updates, listen to the TV and radio broadcast stations at the update times, as otherwise you will have to wait and wait while they fill the time with … filler. Broadcasters do not get faster or deeper NOAA updates than the public, but they often add dimension with well qualified meteorologists’ discussions. They inevitably air interviews with ranking NOAA personalities, providing much educational background. The NOAA interviews will not, however, provide information above and beyond the posted web reports, and they assuredly will not indulge in unguarded speculation.
Important! Political announcements regarding shelters, evacuations, supplies, and medical services may be released at any time, so do keep an ear to the Local airwaves and their designated websites.
Three days before potential landfall, or sooner, broadcast TV will go into overtime with impressive graphics and shots of reporters in storm gear standing near the ocean. There will be endless stories of store shelves emptying as people scurry to buy bottled water, flashlights, plywood, and food, accompanied with shots of long, long gas lines.
But you do not have to go through that! Monitor these websites: Atlantic Analysis and Naval Stitched Global Satellite Image (click to enlarge image). You will know when an especially strong storm is forming off the coast of Africa. You will know it takes five or seven days for a storm to approach South Florida.
Storm course cannot be accurately predicted that many days out, but you will remind yourself to catch up necessary supplies at your first Convenient moment, before the crowds rule. You will remind yourself to fill prescriptions, pick up groceries, get propane for the grill, keep your vehicles fueled up, test generators if they are in your life, and all the other checklist items for staying prepared.
The best storm course predictions are here: Navy Hurricane Time Tracks. Scroll down, click the graphic to enlarge and study.
Now you can calmly go about your business, no additional stress, and you will remain prepared for the rest of the hurricane season.
Thankfully, you will not be anxiously waiting behind five overloaded grocery carts the day before the storm.