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2016 hurricane season

With the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season finally over, scientists are taking stock of what they say was a monumental year.

A total of 10 hurricanes swept the region. Six were major storms of Category 3 or higher, and three of those were Category 4 or higher when they made landfall, spreading havoc from the Caribbean to Texas.

The Atlantic Ocean is vast and has always made its own weather. But a typical year sees about six hurricanes, not 10. And three strong hurricanes hitting land — Harvey, Irma and Maria — is extraordinary.

So what's going on?

Otto Is Latest Hurricane Ever To Form In Caribbean Sea

Nov 23, 2016
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A rare late November Hurricane has formed in the southwest Caribbean just eight days before the end of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Late-season Tropical Storm Otto has formed in the southwestern Caribbean and forecasters say it could become a hurricane in the coming days.

Florida Begins Digging Out After Matthew

Oct 8, 2016
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Matthew killed at least four residents and left some 1.2 million homes and businesses without power, as the storm began moving away from the state's northeastern coast on Friday evening.

Though the worst from Hurricane Matthew will be felt on the east coast, the storm is having effects on the Tampa Bay area.

As of 11 a.m., all tropical storm watches and warnings for the Tampa Bay area have been cancelled as the storm moves further north away from the area.

For much of the Tampa Bay area, sustained winds of 20-30 miles per hour are expected with higher gusts, especially in rain bands on the fringes of Matthew.

Here’s a list of closures and other need-to-know information as Matthew departs:

SCHOOLS

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Leaving almost 300 dead in its wake across the Caribbean, Hurricane Matthew steamed toward Florida with potentially catastrophic winds of 130 mph Thursday, and 2 million people across the Southeast were warned to flee inland.

It was the most powerful storm to threaten the U.S. Atlantic coast in more than a decade.

"This storm's a monster," Gov. Rick Scott warned as it started lashing the state with rain and wind around nightfall. He added: "I'm going to pray for everybody's safety."

Hurricane Matthew Closes Schools, Government Offices In Tampa Bay Area  

Though the worst from Hurricane Matthew will be felt on the east coast, the storm is having effects on the Tampa Bay area.

Polk, Hernando, Citrus, Sumter and Highlands counties are under a tropical storm warning, meaning tropical storm conditions are likely.  Sustained winds in these areas in the 40-50 mph range with gusts to 60-65 miles per hour possible.

The west coast of Florida is under a tropical storm watch from south of Sarasota north the Panhandle.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the state could be facing its "biggest evacuation ever" because Hurricane Matthew is threatening almost the entire Atlantic coast of Florida.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Matthew has made landfall in western Haiti.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 4 storm made landfall around 7 a.m. Tuesday near Les Anglais, Haiti. Matthew's maximum sustained winds are near 145 mph.

Shift Brings Hurricane Matthew's Track Closer To Florida

Oct 3, 2016
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

The National Hurricane made a "significant shift" in its projected path of Hurricane Matthew on Monday afternoon.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network meteorologist Jeff Huffman says the change could impact parts of the state.

A senior government official in Jamaica says people in flood-prone areas of the country are refusing to leave their homes as the outer bands of Hurricane Matthew bring heavy rain and some flooding to parts of the island.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie says one such area is Port Royal near the now-closed international airport in Kingston. McKenzie says the government ordered the area evacuated and sent two buses to help people move. But he says only two adults and two children boarded the bus. Others in the neighborhood wanted to stay and protect their homes.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Matthew, a potentially devastating Category 4 storm, swirled across the Caribbean toward Haiti and Jamaica, where residents frantically stocked up on emergency supplies and authorities urged people to evacuate threatened areas.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Matthew has been downgraded to a Category 4 storm as it continues roaring across the Caribbean Sea on a course that puts Jamaica, as well as parts of Haiti and Cuba, in the path of its potentially devastating winds and rain.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center called it the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Felix in 2007, and said Matthew will be approaching Jamaica late Sunday night. It is expected to reach the eastern part of the island on Monday.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Forecasters in Miami say Matthew has strengthened into a major Category 3 hurricane in the Caribbean.

The National Hurricane Center says Matthew now has top sustained winds of 115 mph (185 kph) and is now centered about 105 miles (170 kilometers) northeast of Punta Gallinas, Colombia. It says the storm as of 11 a.m. EDT Friday was centered about 495 miles (800 kilometers) southeast of Kingston, Jamaica, and moving west-southwest at 12 mph (19 kph).

St. Petersburg has a plan to minimize sewage spills during major rain events and the Department of Environmental Protection wants to ensure it follows through.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Tropical Storm Julia is bringing heavy rain to the northeast coast of Florida and southeast Georgia.

Downpours from Hurricane Hermine forced wastewater facilities in at least 15 communities around the Tampa Bay area to release millions of gallons of sewage onto residential streets and into water bodies over a seven day period that ended Tuesday.

National Weather Service

Some neighborhoods near the Anclote River in Pasco County are flooding.

Because of high tide, Hurricane Hermine and a strong thunderstorm on Saturday, the Anclote River crested Sunday at 25.08 feet, officials said, and is forecast to slowly recede out of major flood stage by 8 a.m. Monday. The Anclote area remains under a flood warning.

Hurricane Hermine was downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved across Florida downing trees and flooding roads up and down the coast. Some local schools and government offices will remain closed Friday due to the heavy rain and winds blanketing the region. Others, in areas less threatened by the storm, have reopened.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has ordered government offices in 37 counties, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus, to remain closed Friday.

Winds averaging 45 MPH have forced the closure of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Gusts around 56 MPH have also been measured.

Forecasters say Hurricane Hermine made landfall in the Big Bend just east of St. Marks, bringing 80 mph winds and heavy rains before being downgraded to a tropical storm as it moves across the Panhandle.

It’s the first hurricane to hit the Sunshine State in more than a decade.

Hermine Becomes Category 1 Hurricane

Sep 1, 2016

The National Hurricane Center says Hermine has strengthened to a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds increasing to near 75 mph.

Hermine's upgrade from tropical storm makes it the fourth hurricane of 2016 in the Atlantic basin.

It's expected to make landfall along Florida's Gulf coast around 2 a.m. Friday, Gov. Rick Scott said. 

Hillsborugh and Pinellas Counties are under a tornado watch through 11 p.m. as the hurricane approaches land in the Big Bend. 

Bobbie O'Brien

Many local schools and government offices are shut down today because of Tropical Storm Hermine. But Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is taking a different tack - he expanded hours at the city parks and recreation centers.

Tropical Storm Hermine Forms In Gulf of Mexico

Aug 31, 2016
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Many parts of Tampa Bay area could see flooding Thursday as the rain tied to Tropical Storm Hermine continues to pour on the region.

Brian LaMarre, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Tampa said the high tide Thursday afternoon at St. Pete Beach and other coastal areas could be a problem.

“We may see minor coastal flooding in the area along the beaches,” he said. “Anywhere along Hernando County northward to anywhere along the Florida Big Bend.”

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Forecasters have issued a hurricane watch for parts of Florida stretching from northwest of Tampa to an area east of Panama City.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued the watch for an area of the Gulf coast from the Anclote River to Indian Pass. An area to the west of Indian pass on the Panhandle is under a tropical storm watch.

The watches are related to a tropical depression churning in the Gulf about 345 miles west of Key West.

Tropical Storm Likely To Hit Florida This Week

Aug 28, 2016
Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Hurricane Hunters flew into Tropical Depression Nine on Monday afternoon and did not find tropical storm force winds. However, Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Meteorologist Jeff HufFman says the system is still expected to intensify.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

A tropical disturbance currently in the Caribbean near Puerto Rico could affect Florida this weekend.

Currently known as ‘Invest 99-L’, the storm is expected to gain the name Hermine soon.

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Tropical Storm Fiona is getting a little stronger as it moves across the Atlantic.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management is urging residents and businesses from Tampa to Pensacola to prepare for heavy rainfall and flooding potential today and lasting potentially through Thursday.

A weather system that already has caused at least six deaths in the Dominican Republic has been designated as Tropical Storm Earl.

Google Maps

The heavy rain that came with Tropical Storm Colin led to the voluntary evacuation of some residents in a Largo mobile home park Tuesday morning.

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