In 2015, Florida experienced the warmest year on record. With a significant El Nino predicted for the 2015-2016 winter season, a shift in temperature is expected. This year, NOAA National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration is predicting that El Nino will be amongst the strongest one ever reported.
Forecasters expect El Nino to bring Florida wetter and cooler weather than the normally drier winter weather. An increase in overnight tornado activity and flash flooding is also anticipated.
At GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s top independent homeowner’s insurance agency, we know the importance of being prepared during a weather emergency. The better equipped you are with knowledge and a plan, the less stressful an unexpected event can be on your family.
So exactly what is El Nino? It is a complex weather pattern resulting from variations in ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean around the equator. NOAA explains, “The deviations from normal surface temperatures can have a large scale effect on the ocean as well as global climate and weather conditions.”
El Nino develops over North America producing wetter than normal conditions in the Gulf Coast and Florida. It typically forms in the spring and reaches its peak in in December and January. This year, climatologists at NASA see the potential of a second peak occurring in February and March and dying down in May of 2016.
This weather anomaly typically lasts 9 – 12 months and usually occurs every five to seven years. Temperatures and participation amounts are not the only effect El Nino brings. In an El Nino year, marine life is affected and the fish population declines.
“El Nino generally results in more severe weather occurring throughout Florida,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent homeowner’s insurance agency.
The recent El Nino season has been attributed to reducing the Atlantic hurricane activity in 2015, minimizing the risk of summer wildfires, an increased risk of flooding and it is responsible for the severe storms as of late.
The intense El Nino event of 1997-98, caused alarming weather conditions. It lead to widespread damage across Florida resulting in a number of deaths from tornadoes along with the loss of crops.
While there is no reason to panic, it cannot hurt to be prepared. Floridians can be ready by assembling an emergency kit, having a weather radio on hand along with an evacuation plan in place.
If you find yourself in a tornado, take the following advice.
- Take shelter where you are
- Find the smallest interior room or closest to ground level, away from windows
- Make sure everyone in your home, school or business knows where to go before a tornado hits
- Protect your head by putting on a bike helmet or pulling a mattress over you
GreatFlorida Insurance offers you protection for you and your belongings when an adverse weather situation occurs. Contact us today if you are looking for first rate homeowner’s insurance.
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