For official hurricane preparedness information, go to
For local weather conditions and forecast for Tampa Bay area, go to
Other Miscellaneous ResourcesFEMA Preparedness guide a PDF that you can print.
American Red Cross
Red Cross: Tampa Bay-West Coast region
Salvation Army Florida
Salvation Army Tampa
Salvation Army St. Petersburg
FEMA for Preparedness Information
FEMA for kids
Learner on Line
Stan Goldenberg's Short Course in Building Plywood Shutters from NOAA AOML/Hurricane Research Division
Miami Museum of Science
For business-oriented hurricane preparedness information, go to
2017 Hurricane Names Arlene Bret Cindy Don Emily Franklin Gert Harvey Irma Jose Katia Lee Maria Nate Ophelia Philippe Rina Sean Tammy Vince Whitney
Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms had been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. Since 1979, the names are maintained and updated through a strict procedure established by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization using a six-year cycle that repeats most of the names. Each year, the WMO retires names of particular storms that cause massive destruction or deaths. Among names that have been retired in recent years are Andrew, Charley, Frances, Katrina, and Sandy. More details about this can be found here: Naming History and Retired Names.
Above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year(From 2017 National Hurricane Center website: http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/above-normal-atlantic-hurricane-season-is-most-likely-year).
Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year. On May 25, 2017, the CPC released their expectations for the upcoming season.
Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.
“The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or non-existent El Nino, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.
Strong El Ninos and wind shear typically suppress development of Atlantic hurricanes, so the prediction for weak conditions points to more hurricane activity this year. Also, warmer sea surface temperatures tend to fuel hurricanes as they move across the ocean. However, the climate models are showing considerable uncertainty, which is reflected in the comparable probabilities for an above-normal and near-normal season.
New Advisories for 2017(From 2017 National Hurricane Center website: http://www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness)
There will be some changes in the information that you receive about hurricanes this year. Minor changes in graphics are noted below, but there will be two significant new advisories available.
A Storm Surge Watch and Warning will be used when appropriate. For those of us living close to the Gulf of Mexico, this can be critically important information, especially in the northern portions of the Gulf. Surge conditions can occur well to the east of a storm’s center. This means that a storm surge may exist well outside of a tropical storm or hurricane warning or watch area.
For those in coastal areas, you should pay particular attention to a Storm Surge Watch and Storm Surge Warning when these may be issued:
A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from water moving inland from the shore to somewhere within the specified area, usually occurring within 48 hours.
A Storm Surge Warning means there is an imminent danger of life-threatening inundation from rising waters moving inland from the shoreline within the specified area, usually occurring within 36 hours.
The National Hurricane Center will also issue various advisories, watches, warnings and other information pertaining to “Potential Tropical Cyclones.” In the past, the policy required that a tropical system had to be formally declared to be at least a Tropical Depression before these advisories would be issued.
This change will give coastal residents more time to prepare for storms.
Remember, it only takes one storm to change your life and community. Tropical cyclones are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. If you live in an area prone to tropical cyclones, you need to be prepared. Even areas well away from the coastline can be threatened by dangerous flooding, destructive winds and tornadoes from these storms. The National Hurricane Center and the Central Pacific Hurricane Center issue watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather.
Learn how to protect yourself and property with the daily tips here and related links. Share these with your friends and family to ensure that they’re prepared.
New Look for ‘Cone of Uncertainty’Storm forecasters have grown more certain over the years about the likely path that a hurricane will take.
Therefore, the familiar “cone of uncertainty” that we have grown accustomed to has shrunk. This has impelled forecasters to refine the look of the “cone.”
The National Hurricane Center will use this modified tool beginning this season. It features a sleeker tracking cone. Forecasters will continue to remind the public not to focus on the cone because damaging winds often occur outside of it. This invites a false sense of security if the public isn’t in the official cone track.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1.
Be sure to check this link, NOAA’s interactive Historical Hurricane Tracks. Hurricane season runs from June 1 - November 30.
An interesting archive about past hurricanes dates from 1851.
Among the things that the National Hurricane Center and FEMA keep stressing:
•Make plans to secure your property.
•Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.
•Very important to note: Avoid using tape. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
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