Florida has three seasons – Spring, Summer and Hurricane.
From June 1 through November 30, conditions are right for the formation of hurricanes. More than just a little wind and rain, hurricanes can rip the siding off houses, and upend boats then deposit them in the tops of trees. Storm surges, the rising level of the ocean (or Gulf waters), can push enough sand up from the sea bed and across the beach to fill swimming pools and bury roads under three feet of sand.
Since moving to Florida more than 20 years ago, I’ve evacuated from hellacious storms (Hurricane Opal, 1995; Category 4+) and rode out lesser storms (Tropical Storm Karen, 2013). There are more preparations made for Hurricane Season than for any other time of the year. More than Summer, more than Thanksgiving or Christmas Holidays, more than back-to-school craziness.
Leaving my home behind that first time, not knowing when I could return or what I’d find in the aftermath, I was terrified. I’ve also been on the beach photographing a tropical storm making landfall. It was the most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done.
I dread hurricane season every year, but I also look forward to it with a little too much enthusiasm.