The anticipated weakening of Tropical Storm Eta has begun, but high winds, heavy rain, and a dangerous storm surge are possible through Thursday morning from the Nature Coast to the First Coast.

NO CURRENT STORMS IN ATLANTIC BASIN

Expires at 2:00pm on Thursday November 12th, 2020

A pandemic and a hurricane? Yes, it could happen.

Imaging self-isolating at home, and being without power, running water, or access to food for days, if not weeks. It’s a reality we hope never materializes, but one we can’t be certain of. Therefore, attempting to stock up on everyday essentials now will make surviving a storm much easier, and it could possibly save your life.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season is only weeks away, and experts say it could be more active than normal. Like most of us recently, mitigation experts are adjusting to a new normal in how we prepare.

“This year, because of the coronavirus, we are focused on things we can do at home, items that are affordable, and tasks that are simple."

Leslie Chapman-Henderson is the CEO and founder of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH). She was a bit surprised to find out, based on a recent survey, that more people are taking preparation seriously.

“Seven percent more plan to prepare this year over last, likely because they know they might not be able to get what they need if they wait until the last minute,” she added.

Leslies also suggested to sign up for online notifications on items that may be out of stock.

VIEW OUR COMPLETE HURRICANE GUIDE

According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, emergency kits should hold at least seven days worth of food, water and clothing per person. If that seems out of reach for you now, starting with just three days worth can go a long way.

If you’re in a hurry, we’ve provided a few ready-made lists from our various partners below.

The supplies don’t all have to be purchased at once, unless you and everyone else wait until the last minute. And we all know how much stress that can cause. To help you formulate your own list, we’ve outlined things you might want to consider the next time you find yourself at the store or doing some online shopping.

Food and Water

Water and non-perishable food items should be essential to any emergency kit. Make sure that there is one gallon per person per day of water, for a total of at least 7 days. Avoid stocking up on fresh food items, such as vegetables, fruits and meats. Instead, stock up on non-perishable items such as canned soups, dried fruits and vegetables, bread, crackers, cereal, and protein pouches. Additionally, do not forget to buy a hand-operated can opener. And finally, don’t forget the supplies for your infants, including boxed or powdered milk, baby formula, and diapers.

Your Pets

You will need to plan for your pets just as you would humans. Be aware that many evacuation shelter do not accept animals, so preparing a safe place for them ahead of the storm is vital. Check with your local veterinarian on shelters that will keep your animals safe during and after the storm, until you can safely return to retrieve them.

If you shelter in place with your pet, or will be staying at a pet-friendly shelter, you’ll need to have an emergency kit to fit their needs. Similar to humans, your pet will need a gallon of water per day, enough food, and any medications needed for up to 2 weeks. Pack up their water and food bowls along with paper pads for your dogs and litter boxes for your cats. M

You’ll also want to bring a copy of your pets’s documentation, which includes their vaccine information, phone number and location of their veterinarian, ownership documentation, and ID tags. You will need these items for when you bring them to a shelter and when you return to retrieve them.

Clothing and Linens

If you are sheltering in place, you’ll need to have clothing that will keep you dry and comfortable. It is usually very warm after a hurricane departs. Be sure to have one full change of clothes, protective rain gear, and sturdy waterproof shoes.

Consider the types of clothing you will pack when ordered to evacuate. You may not be able to return to your home for days or even weeks after a hurricane. Make sure that you and your family each have clean clothes for up to a week after the storm has passed. Bring items that will keep you comfortable at night, including blankets, sleeping bags, and pillows.

Medical Supplies

Toilet paper, paper towels, and sanitary wipes are often forgotten. Shelters may not always provide these essentials. Disinfectant soap, dry shampoo, face masks and basic hygienic products are also good ideas to keep clean and healthy, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, remember to call your doctor and pharmacy ahead of the storm to acquire essential medication. Make sure you have enough medication to last through the event and in the weeks after. This includes insulin, inhalers, epi-pens, and other vital medications. Have a medical kit on hand which includes bandages, disinfectant, instant cold packs, face masks, aspirin, and ibuprofen.

Household Items

If you ride the storm out at home, you may need to perform some basic repairs to keep your space dry and safe. A basic tool kit which includes a hammer, nails and screws, a saw, wrench, tarp, and screwdriver is recommended. These tools will also come in handy if you need to manually turn off utilities, like gas or water pipes, that may be damaged.

Flashlights, battery operated radios, power banks, and spare batteries are essential to keep devices running. Communication and cell phone towers may be down from the storm. Having a battery operated radio may be the fastest way to receive information in the coming days after the storm.

Important Documents

In addition to paper copies, save virtual copies of important documents onto a USB memory stick, in addition to your cloud drive, and place it securely in the kit. Make sure you pack personal identification cards, including copies of your driver’s license, passport, social security, state issued ID and birth certificates, to name a few.

Copies of insurance information should also be taken with you if you are evacuating, such as health and dental, home, renters, life, automobile, and flood policies.

Emergency personnel will often not allow you to return to your neighborhood after the storm if you do not provide documentation, including a housing deed, lease and mortgage information.

Make copies of your banking information and any legal documents which may include, but are not limited to: wills, power of attorney, marriage and divorce certificates, adoption papers, and custody documents.

In the days following the passage of the hurricane, ATM machines and banks will likely be closed. Make sure you bring enough cash with you to buy essential supplies after the storm. Gas pumps will likely be shut down stranding many residents on roadways. Fill up your tank before the storm arrives.

Finally, write out a list of family and emergency contact information which can include phone numbers, emails and addresses. Do not depend on technology alone to store contact information. Power may be out for days or weeks after the event.

Entertainment

As you ride out the storm in your home or in a shelter, you will have a good deal of time on your hands. To alleviate boredom, stress, and anxiety, you’ll want to have ways to distract you and your family. Pack a few toys, board games, crayons, and books to help relieve the pressure of the situation. Do not rely on video games or electronic entertainment as power is likely to go out.

Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and lasts through November 30. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) has a newly designed website with many great resources for continuing your storm season preparations. You can also find helpful information in the Florida Storms app under the “Get Ready” section.

Jerry is now a hurricane, making it the fourth of the 2019 season. However, chances are increasing that it will not be a threat to the United States.

Environmental conditions will be conducive for further intensification, but only for a limited amount of time. Hurricane Jerry is forecast to enter an environment of stronger upper level winds this weekend, which may prevent further strengthening.

The official forecast track for Hurricane Jerry includes a west-northwestward motion through Saturday, passing north of the Leeward Islands this weekend. A turn is then expected to the north, and eventually northeast early next week sparing any direct effects to Florida or the Southeast. Confidence in a turn away from land early next, at least through Tuesday, has increased considerably. There is no official forecast on a tropical storm or hurricane beyond five days due to limitations in credible forecast modeling.

Meteorologists at the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network will continue to monitor Hurricane Jerry, and the entire Tropical Atlantic Basin, and provide periodic updates on this site, on your local NPR station, and through the Florida Storms Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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NHC: Low chance of tropical development in next five days.

Expires at 11:00pm on Thursday September 19th, 2019

It's been hot in Florida for months. It is every summer.

This content has expired.

However, Saturday's combination of extreme heat and humidity prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Heat Advisory for many cities.

Areas shaded in red are under the Heat Advisory (NWS)

In the statement issued Saturday morning, forecasters explain what a Heat Advisory means...

A Heat Advisory is issued when the combination of hot temperatures and high humidities creates heat indices of 108 degrees or higher. The heat index is a measure of how hot it feels when the effect of humidity combine with the temperature. High heat index values can create dangerously hot conditions where individuals may become critically exhausted if outdoors. Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioning if possible, remain out of the sun, and check on relatives and neighbors who may be sensitive to heat related illnesses.

National Weather Service

The "feels like" temperatures (often referred to as the Heat Index) are forecast to reach as high as 110º Saturday afternoon across areas of North Florida and inland ares of the Florida Panhandle.

Expires at 8:00pm on Saturday August 10th, 2019

Content is current now, not necessarily at the time of the post.

High pressure centered in the northern Gulf of Mexico is bringing sunny and unseasonably mild weather. High temperatures will be anywhere between 80 to 87 through mid-week.

But the mild weather is set to change Thursday.

A cold front will carve its way through the middle of the country Tuesday and stall near the I-10 corridor Wednesday. Ahead of the front, a few showers are possible.

By Thursday, the cold front will inch its way through North Florida and plunge south through the beginning of the weekend.

High temperatures will drop from the mid 80s on Wednesday to the upper 70s by Friday. Low temperatures will cool from the low 60s to the mid 50s for the weekend.

Conditions are favorable for the rapid spread of wildfires across Florida this weekend.

On Saturday, a Red Flag Warning was issued for all of east-central and northeast Florida.  Strong winds and low humidity were observed in these areas, which prompted the National Weather Service to issue the warning. Relative humidity values were at less than 30 percent, and when this is combined with frequent wind gusts greater than 15 mph, it makes any fires likely to grow rapidly. Outdoor burning is not recommended, and even banned in many counties.

Smoke from wildfires may reduce visibility in nearby areas, especially during the late evening and early morning hours.  This was the case Saturday in the Jacksonville metro area, where a Dense Smoke Advisory was also issued.

 

Smoke column from West Mims Fire as seen looking north from Bryceville pic.twitter.com/wDi54w7jJU

— FFS_Jacksonville (@FFS_Jax) May 6, 2017

 

The ongoing drought impacting most of the region isn’t helping. According to the United States Drought Monitor report from May 4, most of North Florida was experiencing abnormally dry conditions and a moderate drought.

 

 

The current dry pattern will remain in place through Friday, as high pressure will dominate the local weather pattern. High temperatures will likely warm to the 90s by Wednesday, which will also aid in the growth of fires. A weak front is expected to pass through Friday, which is the next opportunity for any rain across the state.

Recent downpours may have helped fire fighting efforts in some sections of the state, but the drought is likely to persist for the next few weeks.  Only "near normal" rainfall is forecast through the end of May, which is typically one of the drier months of the year in Florida. Florida's rainy season kicks off in late May and early June, which is more likely when some relief to the ongoing drought will arrive.

- Punxsutawney Phil says six more weeks of winter

- The rodent is less accurate than a coin flip

- Warmer & drier than normal conditions expected to continue in Florida


 

Groundhog Day is a tradition that spans 130 years. Every year since 1887, on the morning of February 2nd, thousands gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see if Phil will see his shadow. Folklore has long suggested that the next six weeks would be foretold by this furry rodent’s annual moment of fame. Sounds scientific, doesn’t it?

GroundHog Day Headlines

 

If one were to look at Phil’s 2016 prediction, you would think the he was onto something.  It was correct. He predicted early spring and that is what America got. Based on his overall record, however, one could cry foul. In fact, one disgruntled Ohio lawyer did just that in 2013. He filed the first ever lawsuit against the famous groundhog, and sought the death penalty. A national newspaper carried the story with the headline: ‘Lawyer Sues Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, Seeks Death Penalty for Being Dirty Liar’.

Harsh, right? It’s hard to shake a groundhog who’s palled around with famous figures such as former President Reagan, Oprah Winfrey, and Bill Murray. Phil was later pardoned and all was well.

According to NOAA, Phil has predicted an early spring 18 times and "six more weeks of winter" 102 times. 10 years of predictions were mysteriously not recorded. Storm Fax has crunched the numbers and found Phil to be right only 39 percent of the time . Needless to say, you’d be better off flipping a coin.

Perhaps we could use science and meteorology to better understand what might happen over the next six weeks.

 

The Winter So Far

Since the beginning of the winter season in Florida temperatures have been warmer than usual.  Temperatures averaged 6.6 degrees above normal for the entire month of December and that was just the beginning. The month of January was no different, averaging 6.3 degrees above normal.

Numbers like these are already spring-like, and we didn’t need a groundhog to know they were coming.  The clues came from an ocean thousands of miles away last November when a La Nina was announced. In meteorology ocean temperatures are our groundhog and a La Nina spells out a warmer winter in Florida and vice versa for an El Nino.

 

The Next Three Months

The predictions for a warm winter in The Southeast have already come to fruition,  and the warmth is likely to last. The Climate Prediction Center’s three-month outlook is for above normal temperatures in Florida and the entire East Coast, including Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

While Groundhog Day is a beloved tradition for most Americans, it’s always best to stick to the science, regardless what the furry little creature says.

So let’s cut Phil a break. He is just a groundhog after all.

Spring officially begins March 20th.

- Highest chances in panhandle Saturday, rest of peninsula on Sunday

- Hazards include wind damage, hail, and isolated tornadoes

- Localized flooding due to heavy rain also a concern


 

A strong storm system will produce multiple rounds of thunderstorms this weekend across The Sunshine State.  Some of them could produce wind damage, hail, or even an isolated tornadoes.  The risks are highest in the Florida Panhandle Saturday, then spreading across much of the peninsula on Sunday.

 

Multiple rounds of severe weather are expected across Florida this weekend. @HuffmanHeadsUp on the latest timing, location & hazards. #flwx pic.twitter.com/wzRDxsgX4S

— Florida Storms (@FloridaStorms) January 20, 2017

 

Florida Panhandle

The severe weather risk will begin as early as Friday evening across the Florida Panhandle and quickly diminish overnight.  A second round of showers and thunderstorms could develop toward daybreak, but is not likely to be widespread or severe.

The third round is the most concerning. A low pressure system will strengthen and enhance the chance for severe weather along the eastern portion of the Florida Panhandle (near Tallahassee and Panama City) Saturday afternoon.  Severe storms, including the threat for tornadoes cannot be ruled out at this time.

 

North Florida

The highest chance for severe weather in North Florida will be Saturday night. The storms could begin as early as Saturday afternoon, but will increase in intensity and coverage during the evening hours. The primary concern with the strongest storms that develop are damaging winds and isolated tornadoes.

The threat for strong storms will continue on Sunday as a strong low pressure system moves closer to the region.  The hightest chances for damaging storms Sunday will be near and south of a line from Jacksonville to Cedar Key.

 

Central Florida

Multiple rounds of strong to severe storms will likely move through Central Florida on Sunday ahead of the frontal boundary.  It is still too early to pin down how strong these storms will be once the system moves into this part of the state.  We encourage you to closely monitor your local forecast over the coming days.

 

South Florida

Strong storms are possible in South Florida Sunday night as the cold front makes it’s way through the southern tip of the peninsula. The primary hazard with these storms are damaging winds. Seas will also be rough for boaters through Tuesday due to gusty winds.

 

The severe weather threat will diminish on Monday as cooler and drier air moves into the state.

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