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Atlantic Hurricane Season 2019 June 1 through November 30 By Steve Morrell

Predictions from the Experts Every year, the experts who study hurricanes make predictions as to how many tropical storms there will be. But they’ve only been seriously studying these storms for 120plus years, and in my mind, that’s not much of a database, especially since their data was quite limited during the first half of that period (before modern science, computers, satellites and airplanes got involved). That’s why I don’t believe we should arrange our lives around these predictions. Even the experts acknowledge they aren’t sure and this year is no exception; they disagree on whether it will be a strong season or a weak one. Consequently, I won’t be printing their predictions, because there is too much disagreement and uncertainty among them. This uncertainty in predicting became especially true after the big storm seasons of 2004 and 2005. Many experts believed we were in a period of fewer storms when those years hit. They should keep trying, of course, but we should keep in mind what we can count on pretty reliably: the season begins on June 1 and ends on Nov. 30; you don’t get hurricanes (and if you do, they are weak ones) before August 1 and after mid-October: and the traditional height of the season is around Sept. 11.

What Boaters Need to Know What is the chance of getting hit? The annual hurricane predictions don’t tell you much about where the storms will hit, but about how many tropical storms will develop and how many of those will reach hurricane level and, of those, how many will be major storms. But for all practical purposes, the only thing boat owners need to know is how to prepare. Below are my predictions—all based on what you need to do and chances of getting hit. I created these predictions after the 2004-05 storm years, and this year, I print them again. Our website hurricane pages have a good and simple plan for protecting your boat, along with a wealth of other information with links to other plans, information and weather websites, stories of success and failure in boat preparation and even hurricane drink recipes (often essential to calm the nerves, as long as you don’t overdo it). I believe it is one of the best resources out there. Don’t Think Tropical Storms Can’t do Much Damage On Sept. 11, 2001, a depression formed in the Gulf off the southwest coast of Florida. It was declared Tropical Storm Gabrielle on Sept. 13 and came ashore on Sept. 14 in Venice. Even though it was only a tropical storm, it sunk many boats, both sail and power, at the Twin Dolphin Marina in Bradenton, FL, because it hit at high tide, bringing in a high storm surge. The storm crossed the state to the northeast, then became a Hurricane in the Atlantic, causing havoc in Florida before it headed northeast into the Atlantic. It received little publicity, overshadowed by the terrorist events of 9/11. Cruising & Sailing Florida, The Southeast & The Bahamas

Morrell Hurricane Predictions for Boaters for This Year You can use these predictions every year for the rest of your life. Winds from 39 to 73 mph, up to 4 feet of surge (tropical storm) High probability: from a direct hit or from the outer bands of a stronger storm. Easy to prepare your boat for. Winds from 74 to 95 mph, 4-5 feet of surge (category 1) Good probability: from a direct hit or from the outer edges of a stronger storm. Easy to prepare your boat for. Winds from 96 to 110 mph, 6-8 feet of surge (category 2) Reasonable chance: from a direct hit or from the outer edges of a stronger storm. Easy to prepare your boat for. Winds from 111 to 130 mph, 9-12 feet of surge (category 3) Small chance: from a direct hit or from the outer edges of a stronger storm. Easy, but even more preparation work required. You will likely suffer some damage, but you can minimize it enough that you can take your boat sailing after you put the sails back on. Winds from 131 to 155 mph, 13-18 feet of surge (category 4)—or above 155 mph, 18 feet and up surge (category 5) Very small chance: from a direct hit or category 4 winds from the outer edges of a category 5 storm. This will take a lot more prep work, but possible to survive with not too much damage if you are prepared and get lucky at the same time. If you don’t prepare and get lucky, it will be as if you didn’t get lucky, so prepare and hope for luck. If it’s a strong storm and lots of surge and you take everything off the boat you can, you will have that stuff, like sails, canvas, knives, spoons, forks and miscellaneous gear, for your next boat. The Best Hurricane Plan In making a plan to protect and save your boat, remember this as the most important thing you need to know: “A bad plan carried out is better than a good plan not carried out. Make your plan so you will carry it out.” Go to the SOUTHWINDS hurricane pages at www. southwindsmagazine.com and learn about the most important aspects of creating a plan to protect your boat. Read the first article, “A Good and Simple Plan for Your Boat.” SOUTHWINDS May 2019

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Profile for SOUTHWINDS Magazine

Southwinds May 2019  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

Southwinds May 2019  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...