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Anna Maria Island Sights

Top 5 Sightseeing Activities On Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island Beach

Anna Maria Island Beach

Anna Maria Island sightseeing is a unique experience unlike that of any other place in Florida!  While plenty of Florida cities and towns are beautiful, there is an old charm about Anna Maria Island you just don’t find anymore. There are no high-rises, parking garages or large chain stores. Anna Maria Island is truly an authentic old Florida vacation destination.

During your visit there are a few spots that you must add to your sightseeing bucket list. Check out the Island Real Estate top five sightseeing activities on Anna Maria Island.

Visit the Piers

Anna Maria City Pier

Anna Maria City Pier

While on Anna Maria Island you must visit at least one of the three piers. Each offers a unique piece of island history, and some great fishing too! On the north end of the island you’ll find the Rod & Reel Pier and the Anna Maria City Pier. Both offer views of Tampa Bay and the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. On the south end of the island you’ll find the Bradenton Beach city Pier with views of Sarasota Bay and the coastline of Cortez Fishing Village. Each of the three piers offers dining options, and is the perfect spot to catch sunrise.

The Anna Maria City Jail

Anna Maria City jail

Anna Maria City jail

It’s not a visit to the island if you don’t get your picture taken inside the old Anna Maria City Jail. Find it at the Historical Society Museum on Pine Avenue. No roof, no doors, no windows, no bar and no visitors for years and years!
Now a local tourist stop, the Anna Maria City Jail typically was used for overnight stays by “the rowdies” who had too much to drink at the local dance hall. Continue reading “Anna Maria Island Sights” »

Anna Maria Island Bridge and Cortez Bridge Openings Change

Update Oct, 2017: USCG approved changes to opening times, effective Oct. 5 year-round, to be at quarter past, 0015, and quarter to the hour, 0045, from 0600 to 1900H, on the Manatee Ave (Anna Maria Island) Bridge and the Cortez Bridge. The change also applies to Stickney Point and Siesta Drive bridges in Sarasota. Longboat Pass bridge continues as open on-demand.

Update Feb, 2017: U.S. Coast Guard proposes changing operating schedule of bridges across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway from three times per hour to twice. Anna Maria Bridge and Cortez Bridge will open on the quarter hour and three-quarter hour on demand, during daylight hours. The change is to be year-round. The proposal is open for comment until April 14.

On Jan 15, 2014, the US Coast Guard began its winter schedule for the timed raising of 2 bridges that connect Anna Maria Island to the mainland.

Anna Maria Bridge opening

Passing under the Anna Maria Island Bridge

The summer schedule allowed for on-demand raising at 20 minute intervals: on the hour, 20 past, and 20 ’til, if required by a boat during daylight hours.

The winter schedule now in force from Jan 15 to May 15 is for 30 minute intervals: on the hour, and the half hour, on demand, during daylight.

Continue reading “Anna Maria Island Bridge and Cortez Bridge Openings Change” »

2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Review

2016-hurricane-tracks

2016 Atlantic storm tracks

Summary:

  • Slightly above average storm activity
  • Flooding impacts on Anna Maria Island (Colin and Hermine)
  • 2 landfalls on Florida Gulf Coast (Colin and Hermine)
  • 11-year record lull of no major hurricane landfalls on Florida
  • 1 major hurricane came within 50 miles of Florida East Coast (Cat 5 Mathew)
Atlantic Hurricane Season April 2016 forecast 2016 Actual
Named storms (>35mph) 12 15
Hurricanes (>72mph) 5 7
Major hurricanes (>111mph) 1 3
US landfall likelihood 50% 33%
Gulf Coast landfall 30% 13%

The Named Storms:

Alex – Hurricane Cat 1 Jan 13-15 pre-season in Eastern Atlantic

Bonnie – Tropical Storm May 27 – Jun 4 weak South Carolina landfall

Colin – Tropical Storm Jun 5 – 7 High tide flooding on Anna Maria Island

Danielle – Tropical Storm Jun 19 – 21 affecting Yucatan Peninsula and eastern Mexico

Earl – Hurricane Cat 1 Aug 2 – 6 affecting Antilles, Dominican Republic, Belize and Mexico

Fiona – Tropical Storm Aug 17 – 23 no effects on land

Gaston – Hurricane Cat 3 Aug 22 – Sep 3 no effects on land

Hermine – Hurricane Cat 1 Aug 28 – Sep 3 Rain and high tide flooding on Anna Maria Island landfall in Big Bend of Florida

Ian – Tropical Storm Sep 12 – 16 no effects on land

Julia – Tropical Storm Sep 14 – 18 Formed over Florida but main impact was on North Carolina and Virginia

Karl – Tropical Storm Sep 14 – 25 affecting Bermuda

Lisa – Tropical Storm Sep 19 – 24 no effects on land

Mathew – Hurricane Cat 5 Sep 28 – Oct 9 Landfall in Haiti, Cuba, Bahamas. Close to but not making landfall on Florida East Coast

Nicole – Hurricane Cat 4 Oct 4 – 18 Affecting Bermuda, US East Coast and Canada

Otto – Hurricane Cat 2 Nov 21 – 25 late season landfall in Nicaragua re-emerging in Eastern Pacific

Continue reading “2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season Review” »

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.

Continue reading “Hurricane Hermine Hits Holmes Beach Hard” »

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 forecastAverage
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.