Hurricanes, Tropical Storms, Warnings – What Does it All Mean?

It doesn’t seem possible that hurricane season is already here again.  Our Florida hurricane season lasts for six months, beginning June 1 and ending November 30.  It basically lasts all of summer and fall.  With that in mind, we only have six months of the year when we aren’t in hurricane season, so the time where it approaches again comes quickly.

 

Since we’re officially in hurricane season, we thought that it might be helpful to explain some of the terminologies you hear associated with hurricanes.  During these six months, it is a big topic on our local news but the newscasters don’t always explain the meaning behind what they are saying.

 

A tropical storm has sustained wind speeds of 39-73 miles per hour.  If those wind speeds reach a speed of 74 miles per hour and are sustained at 74 miles per hour or higher, the storm is then categorized as a hurricane.

 

A hurricane WATCH means that such a storm is POSSIBLE within a specified area.  A hurricane WARNING means that such a storm is EXPECTED. These terms are also used in conjunction with tornadoes.  This is important to know because these terms are frequently used on the news.  It is also important to know that they apply to tornadoes because tornadoes often accompany tropical storms and hurricanes.  Yes, we often get a double whammy.

 

During Hurricane Irma, one Indialantic resident says, “We were in the throes of the hurricane.  I was trying to get our youngest to go to sleep amidst all the noise of the wind, rain, and flying debris when I heard something that sounded like a freight train.  Our older kids came into the room saying they just saw, through our sliding glass door, a tornado on the street behind ours.  Our little one definitely didn’t fall asleep upon hearing that news!  I had always heard that tornadoes sounded like freight trains.  I’ve even lived in Oklahoma, heard the sirens, seen the sky “go green,” but never heard one or had one hit that close.  It was LOUD.”  At that point, their power had already gone out and they couldn’t watch t.v., so they were unaware of any tornado warning, except for the fact that they knew it was a possibility due to the hurricane.

 

“Category” is the other term with which you will want to be familiar regarding hurricanes as this will tell you how strong the hurricane is.  The strength of the hurricane will generally determine the extent of the damage that will go along with it.  There are five categories with Category 1 being the lowest level of winds and damage and Category 5 being the highest level of winds and damage expected.  Category 5 hurricanes usually bring total devastation and can render a place uninhabitable.

 

We hope you found this helpful as you prepare for this hurricane season.  If you do not yet have storm shutters, also called hurricane shutters, for your home, then why not give us a call at Brevard Shutter?  We are located in Melbourne, FL and serve surrounding areas such as Palm Bay and the beachside towns.  We offer accordion shutters, which are quite affordable, along with a wide variety of beautiful shutters such as Bahama shutters, colonial shutters, and even hurricane fabric.  All are easy and fast to deploy so that you can take care of business and get back inside where it is safe.  Please give us a call or come by our showroom to see all that we have to offer!

 

 

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