As of today, 9/11/2011, Tropical Storm Maria is near Puerto Rico and still at tropical storm strength. But the map above shows it moving in a more north-northeasterly direction in a few days keeping well away from the Florida coastline. They are still predicting it will strengthen some as it moves onward.
So even though appears possible that we might "dodge another bullet", this storm bears watching. As do all tropical storms! Keep yourselves up-to-date via the internet, TV, and radio. It never hurts to be prepared. You can always use your disaster supplies after the hurricane season ends on November 30th.
In the map at the top of this post, the letter inside the dot on the track of the storm indicates the National Hurricane Center's forecast intensity for that time:
D: Tropical Depression – wind speed less than 39 MPH
S: Tropical Storm – wind speed between 39 MPH and 73 MPH
H: Hurricane – wind speed between 74 MPH and 110 MPH
M: Major Hurricane – wind speed greater than 110 MPH
Note that on the map it indicates that early Wednesday morning the storm is predicted to gain hurricane strength, thus the "H" in the path's circle.
Do keep in mind that the storm is still several days away, and wind directions have been known to change. I have even seen storms do loop-the-loops and come right back over the same area. So the trajectory of this storm could change. You never can tell this far out. But it pays to be alert and take cautious steps to prepare. Just in case!
If you are in the process of closing on a home sale in the next few days, do be aware that once a storm warning is issued for any part of the state of Florida, it is likely that ALL of the insurance companies will stop writing new policies until the storm's threat has passed. So if you have not already obtained a binder on your insurance coverage, speak with your real estate agent immediately about what is happening. If you used one of the Florida purchase agreements that most agents here use, there is specific language concerning hurricanes and underwriting moratoriums that is there to protect you from having to purchase an uninsured home. And if you are financing the purchase, keep in mind that your bank WILL NOT fund your loan if there is no proof of adequate insurance coverage on the home. See your agent for more information concerning this issue.
We continue to have a very quiet hurricane season in Florida, with no major storms making landfall here. They said we would have several large storms, but so far that has not come true here in the Sunshine State. We do seem to be getting more rain than we normally do, but this very much resembles the weather patterns that took place all the time up until the late 1980's when a VERY long dry spell took place. So these nice showers are very welcome and have helped cut down on wildfires. The landscape around Zephyrhills sure is looking nice and green. And many are saving money on irrigation.
Much of my information comes from the National Hurricane Center. They follow tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes from birth to death. It can be a useful site to visit. If you would like to try it out, click on the following link: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov I suggest you "bookmark it" or "make it a Favorite" for future reference if you live in an area that can be affected by tropical storms or hurricanes. You will find it interesting and helpful to track the path of each storm. You can also download a Hurricane Tracking Map by clicking on the following link: TRACKING MAP
I will also try to update my weblog with new posts if it appears that a hurricane or another major storm will make landfall in our area. So come back here to check if you want to. But the TV, radio, and internet will have the most up-to-date information available.
You can also find out how to prepare for hurricanes and other disasters at the following state site: http://www.floridadisaster.org/ Do not wait until a storm is upon us to prepare your home and family. Hopefully we will make it through 2011 with no major storms paying us a visit, but you never know. Better safe than sorry!
I invite you to visit my webpage at: http://www.jelwell.century21bnr.com/ where you will find links to many interesting sites dealing with real estate. You are always welcome there.
JOHN ELWELL - REALTOR at CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc. Licensed in Florida.
I can also be contacted anytime via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at: 813-783-4444
Image from NOAA
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida