When I attended the Governor’s Hurricane Conference in mid-May the prevailing thought was there was a 30% chance of an “above normal “Atlantic hurricane season. In my discussions with fellow attendees at that meeting everyone thought that was spot on.

With the peak months of the 2019 hurricane season underway the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration advised that there would be a stronger season ahead with more stronger storms than predicted in May.

On August 8th the NOAA Climate Prediction Center predicted a 45% chance of an “above normal “Atlantic hurricane season. This is a 50% over the May prediction. NOAA also raised the number of named storms in the August 8 report to10 to 17 by the end of season November 30th. August through October are the most active months for hurricanes.

To put all this in perspective Tropical storms are named when wind speed hits 39 mph. A storm is a hurricane when it reaches 79 mph. A major hurricane a category 3 or above would have winds of 111 or above.

The higher probabilities from NOAA were based on declining El Nino conditions. El Nino usually suppresses conditions that affect hurricanes. With El Nino gone the chance of much greater activity is very possible. The forecasters have predicted a 31 % chance of a hurricane hitting either the east or gulf coast of the state of Florida.

You can be assured that both the city of Naples and Collier county are prepared to handle whatever would come at us. I participated in both Naples tabletop hurricane exercise and Collier Counties exercise. Plans are in place, necessary equipment is at the ready, experienced members of the organizations are ready to use their expertise if needed .

Let us hope none of this is needed. We can rest assured if needed it will be performed at the highest level .

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