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Soon to Turn Hotter... Tropics: More Active Atlantic, Be Prepared... Farmers' Almanac

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Updated: 8/27/2013 11:39 pm

Our dry & mild weather will continue Wed. Temps. will be hotter -- 90s -- Thu. but only an isolated afternoon storm. Scattered afternoon storms will increase Fri. afternoon through the weekend, & it'll be back to hot & humid.

The tropics are set to become more active. Though "more active" isn't going too much out on a limb considering the relatively slow pace since 2 quick storms in June (6 so far for the season) & the fact the storms have struggled against an abundance of dry mid & upper level air along with plenty of shear virtually all season. But we certainly can up make for lost time. Since 1851, 25 years have had the first hurricane develop Sept. 1st or later. A year that really stands out is 2001 when the first hurricane didn't develop until Sept. 9th but was then followed by 10 more named storms. The map below is the GFS forecast map for a week from Fri., Sept. 6th. The map shows precipitable water (moisture) & correlates with several tropical waves or possibly tropical cyclones that are forecast to develop. Of course, there's no way to know where or how strong the sytems might be this far out, but it is safe to say -- & likely -- that the Atlantic Basin is about to become more active.

And Solace Insurance is emphasizing now is not the time to take down your guard regarding the tropics:

(Clearwater, FL)  August 27, 2013

The abundance of damage caused by natural disasters in the past begs the question: "Is Florida relatively uninsurable?" Florida is known as an uncertain insurance market as the vast majority of its insured residential and commercial property lies in coastal areas vulnerable to both wind damage and flooding (2).

Solace CEO Bob Childress warns Floridians against being lured into a false sense of security by the lack of recent hurricanes as 2013 has been predicted to be a "more active than average" hurricane season. And, continued Childress, hurricanes are not the only factor to be wary of – seemingly harmless tropical storms can also make a significant impact:

Childress encourages Floridians to begin insurance preparations for hurricanes as quickly as possible. Because many

"When there’s such a long lapse between severe storms, the public’s memory of the aftermath of storms tends to get a bit hazy – but thinking that nothing is going to happen could potentially be a catastrophic mistake," said Childress. "Many people learn too late that they have gaps in their insurance coverage."

Childress suggests that all residents review insurance coverage for home and businesses as the first step in hurricane preparation: 

* Speak with an insurance agent or provider to ensure that coverage is comprehensive and alter policies as necessary to ensure safety in the event of disaster;

* Determine flood/wind insurance eligibility as homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage and may not cover wind damage; 

* Keep insurance policies in safe and secure areas in home, business or even a safe deposit box. Better yet – image important documents and store them in the cloud via services such as Dropbox or Google Drive. 

* Documenting inventory and equipment through photos and video;

* Maintaining backups that can restore client, vendor and supplier information and finances, either in remote servers or cloud storage (5). 

For business owners, a large risk also lies in the damage caused by off-shores storms such as 1985’s Hurricane Elena – Pinellas and Hillsborough county buildings suffered extensive damage, even though the storm stayed 60 miles from the shore (4).  

Solace Insurance warns Florida residents not to let the recent gaps in major storm landfall lead to complacency – residents must seek insurance coverage to ensure the safety of their homes and businesses.

"The key to overcoming hurricane season begins long before the season starts—every resident is at risk and should maintain catastrophic insurance plans that offer safety in the case of damages," said Childress. "Floridians have to plan ahead and realize that the next hurricane could come at any time, without warning."

Hurricanes are not the only factor to be wary of – seemingly harmless tropical storms can also make a significant impact:

* In 2008, Tropical Storm Fay moved very slowly across Florida and caused significant flooding in parts of the state; 
* In June 2013, Tropical Storm Debby caused significant flooding and spawned numerous tornadoes.

So I understand the Farmer's Almanac for 2014 is out with a forecast for a winter storm for NYC & the Feb. Super Bowl (?!). Click ** here ** for the Almanac winter outlook -- hey -- it's just as good as throwing darts or flipping a coin. Long range forecasting -- whether by man, animal, astronomy or models -- is -- let's face it -- less than reliable. But it is kind of fun & interesting.

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