Hurricane Hermine Hits Holmes Beach Hard

Ficus blown over by wind gust. Culverts did not drain.

A Ficus tree blown over by a wind gust. Culverts did not drain.

On August 18th, a weather disturbance in the Atlantic Ocean formed into an area of tropical interest and labelled “Invest 99L” by meteorologists. For ten days it crept across the ocean and meandered in the eastern Caribbean. By Monday August 29th, Tropical Depression 9 hatched, and unconstrained by prior nearby steering winds headed into the Gulf of Mexico to become Tropical Storm Hermine on Wednesday.

Hurricane Hermine path

2016 TD9 in Florida Straights becomes Tropical Storm Hermine, then Hurricane Hermine at landfall.

West Florida went on high alert. Storms this close sometimes run up the coast like Tropical Storm Debby (2012), sometimes change direction suddenly or quickly intensify like Hurricane Charley (2004). In any case Hermine looked like it would be a rain-maker like Tropical Storm Colin earlier this year.

Blocked drain and overwhelmed percolation pits.

Blocked drain and overwhelmed percolation pits.

Anna Maria Island residents experience nature’s best and worst conditions. Summer storms can be brief and invigorating or inconvenient and terrifying. Hermine kept offshore but the effects stayed around for 3 days, tossing 9″ of rain, 45mph wind bursts, frequent lightning and massive thunder booms from waves of storm-bred feeder bands.

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Combined with 2½ feet of surge on top of 2½ foot high tides, torrential and long-lasting rainfall overwhelmed the newly installed “percolation” pit drainage, causing what many people described as the worst flooding they have ever seen on the island. Schools closed Thursday, roads became impassable, and sewers backed up. Power stayed on apart from a short outage when a falling tree brought down some lines.

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2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast

The season’s first forecast for Atlantic hurricanes in 2016 has been released by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project. After 10 years of below average activity, this year the expectation is for an “average” year. That is, a return to mean as recorded over the past 29 years of their data.

The strong El Nino effect in the Pacific during the past year has deflected storms and reduced winds aloft over the US mainland but is expected to weaken during this coming summer due to colder temperatures in the North Atlantic. By September the El Nino influence is expected to be gone, just in time for the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, however, subsequently moderate La Nina conditions in late summer and fall could bring significant cooling.

We anticipate that the 2016 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have approximately average activity. The current weakening El Niño is likely to transition to either neutral or La Niña conditions by the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. While the tropical Atlantic is relatively warm, the far North Atlantic is quite cold, potentially indicative of a negative phase of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation. We anticipate a near-average probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. As is the case with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them. They should prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

–  Dr. Philip J. Klotzbach, Colorado State University 14 April, 2016

 

Atlantic Hurricane Season  April 2016 forecast Average
Named storms (>35mph winds)   12
 12
Hurricanes (>72mph winds)   5   6.5
Major hurricanes (>111mph winds)   1   2
US landfall likelihood  50%  52%
Gulf Coast landfall probability  30%  30%
Major Hurricane in Caribbean probability  29%  42%
Manatee County hurricane landfall probability*  0.6%  0.7%
Manatee County tropical storm probability*  16.3%  17.1%
Manatee County >75mph wind gusts probability*  4.7%  5.0%

http://landfalldisplay.geolabvirtualmaps.com

Tracks of major hurricanes making Florida peninsula and East Coast landfall during 1916-1965 and 1966-2015.

Tracks of major hurricanes making Florida peninsula and East Coast landfall during 1916-1965 and 1966-2015.

The last hurricane effect in the Tampa Bay area was the Tarpon Springs hurricane of October, 1921. Anna Maria Island’s first bridge from Cortez, being constructed at the time, was damaged in the storm.

Anna Maria Island's last close-by hurricane made landfall at Tarpon Springs.

Anna Maria Island’s last close-by hurricane made landfall at Tarpon Springs.

Beach Front Island Homes

What styles of Anna Maria Island homes are on the Gulf beach?

Construction on sandy beach front has changed a lot in 80 years, with easier access, higher standard of living, FEMA rules, and wealthier newcomers. Many older properties have been remodeled and often demolished to be replaced by larger houses.

Here are a few examples of houses built since the island’s early visitors through to today’s new construction.

White beach cottage 1940

Built c.1940

Yellow bungalow 1945

Built c. 1965

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2015 Atlantic Hurricane Season Review

2015 Atlantic Storm tracks

2015 Atlantic Storm tracks

Summary:

  • Below average storm activity with fewest named storms since 1993
  • No impacts on Anna Maria Island
  • No landfalls on Florida
  • A record 65-straight hurricanes in the Atlantic have missed Florida
  • Last storm (Wilma) to hit Florida was 10 year ago, an all time record lull.
  • 1 Gulf of Mexico storm (TS Bill)
  • 1 US mainland landfall (TS Ana, pre hurricane season)
  • 2 major hurricanes (Cat 3 Danny and Cat 4 Joaquin)
Atlantic Hurricane Season  April 2015 forecast  2015 Actual
Named storms (>35mph)  7  11
Hurricanes (>72mph)  3  4
Major hurricanes (>111mph)  1  2
US landfall likelihood  28%  9%
Gulf Coast landfall  15%  9%

The Named Storms:

Ana – Tropical Storm, May 8-11. Earliest on record. Landfall North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Bill – Tropical Storm, June 16-18. Landfall Matagorda Island, Texas.

Claudette – Tropical Storm, July 13-14

Danny – Hurricane Cat 3, August 18-24

Erika – Tropical Storm, August 25-29, impacting Dominica, Guadalupe, Puerto Rico, and Haiti.

Fred – Hurricane Cat 1, August 30 to September 6, first ever impact on Cape Verde Islands.

Grace – Tropical Storm, September 5-9

Henri – Tropical Storm, September 8-11

Ida – Tropical Storm, September 18-27

Joaquin – Hurricane Cat 4, September 28 to October 8, impacting Bahamas, and sinking cargo ship El Faro.

Kate – Tropical Storm, November 9-12

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Anna Maria Island 9th ArtsHOP 2015

The 2015 9th annual “artsHOP” welcomes all for island-wide appreciation of local arts, theater and music November 13 – 15th. The three cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton Beach host special events, displays, and promotions to attract attention to the island’s cultural offerings.

artsHOP 2015 poster

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