Today, June, 1, is opening day for the 2016 Hurricane Season. Living along the Gulf Coast, I am intimately familiar with these tropical storms. After 20 years in Florida, I’ve seen apocalyptic devastation, and have weathered ferocious wind and rain with my camera to get that perfect storm shot.
I’ve already pulled a link into my “favorites” nav bar for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hurricane Center so I can keep up-to-date on any pending storms. On Saturday, May 28, five days ahead of schedule, Tropical Storm Bonnie was already forming off the Atlantic coast.
If you’re keeping score, Alex, the first named storm of 2016, was tracked from Jan. 13-15 sweeping through the Azores as a Category 1 Hurricane – six months ahead of the official season start date. The next storm will be dubbed “Colin.”
During the past few seasons, only a couple of storms have made their way into the Gulf, but steered clear of my little stretch of coastline. I’m still waiting for the return of an epic hurricane, we’re long over due. Not that I’m asking for one, just being pragmatic about the potential for cyclonic calamity.
I try not to be cavalier about hurricane season after so many years of not having to evacuate ahead of major storms. We live in a mandatory evacuation zone – meaning if a Cat 3 Hurricane, or larger (maximum sustained winds > 111 mph), is predicted to make landfall near us, we are, by law, required to leave the area. The last storm that drove us from our home was Hurricane Ivan in 2004, a Cat 5 storm.
I still go through the preparation – still make plans for leaving with our pets, gather up important documents and possessions, clean out excess refrigerator and freezer supplies (to lessen spoilage loss due to power outages), take the storm panels out of storage (these go over south-facing windows), and hoard fresh water.
Between June 1 and November 30, I religiously check the NOAA website for forecasts and advisories, hope for the best, but am ready for the worst.
“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” ~ Willa Cather
This week’s word is:
Using “weather” for inspiration, write 100 Words – no more, no less. You can either use the word – or any form of the word – as one of your 100, or it can be implied. Include a link in your post back here , and add your story to the Mister Linky list. If you don’t have a blog, you can leave your submission in the comment section, or as a Facebook status post. Remember to keep spreading the love with supportive comments for your fellow wordsters.