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August 2016 Archives

What Should Floridians Expect from this Year's Hurricane Season?

With substantial focus on El Niño over the winter months, and more recently La Niña, should Floridians be anticipating a shift in this year's hurricane season? Every year, the Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 until November 30, but as of right now, forecasters cannot seem to agree upon whether the weather patterns from recent months will impact the probability of hurricane formation in a manner that is anomalous from other recent years. In short, a recent report from The Weather Channel indicated that the "2016 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be the most active since 2012," while another recent article in USA Today indicated that "top meteorologists from Colorado State University forecast a near-average Atlantic hurricane season this year."

Supercell Storms and Hail Damage in Florida

According to a recent article in the Palm Beach Post, meteorologists identified supercell storms in the middle of last month that were likely to produce significant hail storm damage across the state of Florida. Indeed, the article suggested that golf-ball-sized hail could be possible due to the combination of weather factors within the storm system. In short, "a clash of icy cloud tops and moist tropical air" is a common precursor to "powerful supercell thunderstorms" that can result in serious damage to property. While this storm system ultimately weakened just in time-such that Floridians were spared much of the predicted hail damage-the possibility of other such supercell thunderstorms should put residents of South Florida on alert.

Brush Fire Claims

When most of us think about the threat of home fires and severe fire damage, we tend to imagine scenarios in which we have left the oven on in our house or a neighbor failed to turn off the iron. In other words, we often fear fires caused by human error within the home. But, as many Floridians know perhaps all too well, brush fires can be common occurrences in our state. While these fires sometimes result from negligence, certain weather conditions in Florida can also lead to a dangerous brush fire. Brush fires can occur quickly and without any substantial warning. According to a recent article in the Orlando Sentinel, "this is the time of year when brush fires are more prevalent." And indeed, the article reports that at least seven brush fires occurred across West and Central Florida in the first weeks of April alone.

Meteorologists Link Early Atlantic Weather Activity to Hurricane Season

We have already seen a relatively large amount of activity in the Atlantic prior to the start of summer, according to a recent report from AccuWeather.com. But is the mere fact that we have already seen a "C"-named storm a sign that Florida could experience a particularly intense hurricane season? As most West Central Floridians know, hurricane season begins on June 1 and goes through the end of November, according to a storm season chart from the U.S. State Department. While Tropical Storm Colin did approach Florida after the start of hurricane season, the fact that we have already seen a good amount of tropical weather this year suggests that more storms, including hurricanes, may be in store.

Can Hail Damage Occur During Hot and Humid Summer Storms?

Many residents of Florida's Gulf Coast region tend to associate storms producing hail with the winter months when the weather is a bit cooler. After all, hail is really cold, right? It does not seem to make logical sense that hail would form in a hot and humid summer storm. However, according to an article from Weatherbug.com, hail storms actually can be even more common when the weather is warmer or more temperate. Should West Central Florida homeowners be worried about hail storm damage over the summer when most of us are busy preparing for hurricane season? 

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