The last hurricane in Florida, called Dorian, despite losing strength when approaching the coast of the United States, left many people scared and with doubts. In this post we will explain about the hurricane season in Florida and how security procedures work in the United States when the strongest storm alerts arise.
Don’t Panic! The arrival of a hurricane in Florida is detected in advance
Hurricanes are very different from other natural disasters, such as an earthquake, for example, which occurs suddenly, without any predictability. Hurricanes can be monitored since their formation. They usually form in the Caribbean Ocean, like a storm, and gain strength over days. So take it easy! When a hurricane formation in Florida is detected, you usually still have days to prepare and, if applicable, leave the region. At this point, the American authorities are very well organized and the alerts, guidelines and, in extreme cases, evacuation procedures, are very well executed.
The United States weather service responsible for monitoring storms and hurricanes is the National Hurricane Center (NHC), located in Miami, Florida International University. The center has extremely advanced technology and can detect the formation of tropical cyclones approximately 10 days in advance.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is a component of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) located at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. The NHC mission is to save lives, mitigate property loss, and improve economic efficiency by issuing the best watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather and by increasing understanding of these hazards. The NHC vision is to be America’s calm, clear, and trusted voice in the eye of the storm and, with its partners, enable communities to be safe from tropical weather threats.
Video of an airplane inside hurricane Dorian
When does hurricane season start in florida
Hurricane Season in Florida officialy starts in June and ends in November. The latest records show that the most impacted months are August, September and October. These are the months most likely to form storms and hurricanes. It does not mean that a hurricane will appear in this period. And even if there is formation, it does not mean that it will hit the coast. In addition, if a hurricane strikes and hits the coast, most cities in the center of the continent are unlikely to be affected (eg Orlando). This is because hurricanes, in most cases, lose strength as soon as they reach the mainland (landfall).
IMPORTANT: The information above should be considered in case there is still no news about the formation of any tropical storm in the region. If you are already aware of cyclone formations or stronger storms likely to reach the region of your destination, we strongly recommend canceling the trip to the region and contacting the local authorities for more information.
Central continental areas are more protected during hurricane season
The city of Orlando, which receives more than 75 million people every year, is more protected than Miami when it comes to hurricanes. That’s because Orlando is located right in the center of the continent. It is very difficult for a hurricane to maintain its strength after reaching the coast and traveling all the way to Orlando. Chances are minimal. Also considering that the storm continues on this trajectory.
It was not for nothing that Walt Disney chose the Orlando region to build its parks. One reason was the distance from the Florida coast.
The city of Orlando, being in the central part of Florida, is one of the most protected areas from hurricanes. Cyclones, upon reaching the coast (landfall), lose strength when moving over land. It is very unlikely that the hurricane will remain strong until it reaches the center of the state, if this is its trajectory.
Landfall and the “eye of the hurricane”
Here is a brief explanation of some weather terms and concepts that surround this hurricane theme in Florida.
The term “Landfall”, which could be translated as “fall to earth” or “arrive on land”, is the exact moment when the hurricane arrives on the mainland, that is, it has been approaching through the waters of the ocean and reaches the coast . The areas affected by landfall are the most affected, as they receive all the strength of the hurricane from the sea. After the collision with the earth, the cyclone tends to lose strength as it moves over the continent.
That is why, almost always, the most affected regions are islands in the Caribbean and coastal cities in Florida, such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and others.
It is very common for the hurricane to approach the coast and not reach it, following the sea to South Florida, where it can reach cities further north or simply lose strength and disappear.
The eye of a hurricane
Another very common term is the so-called “eye of the hurricane”. It is the center of the cyclone and looks like an eye, since the hurricane, in its center, is empty. In photos taken from the satellite it is possible to clearly identify the “eye of the hurricane”. Usually the photo shows a swirl of white clouds and an empty circle in the center.
Once again we remember: If you are in Florida or in regions susceptible to hurricanes, keep an eye out for alerts and always follow the guidelines of local authorities.