Whether it's your first hurricane season in Florida or you've experienced a few, preparation is key – and the FOX 35 Storm Team is here to help you before, during, and after a storm.
The 2023 Atlantic Hurricane Season officials runs June 1 - November 30, 2023. This year, experts with Colorado State University and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are predicting below-average or near-average hurricane seasons, but anyone who's lived through one of these powerful storms knows that just one can bring catastrophic damage.
If you missed our FOX 35 special, Tracking The Tropics: 2023 Season Preview, you can watch it again below. The FOX 35 Storm Team takes a look at how many storms we could see this year, how El Nino could impact this year's season, a new tool that could help protect your home, and a look inside Florida International University's "Wall of Wind."
How many named storms could we see this year?
What is El Niño, and how could it affect this year's hurricane season?
One of the largest factors to watch this year will the effect of the El Niño global weather pattern. El Niño forms when sea surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific turn warmer. This shifts stronger trade winds across the Caribbean and Atlantic.
"Strong wind shear is not a friend of hurricanes and typically reduces the number of storms," said FOX 35 meteorologist Ian Cassette.
Questions remain on when exactly El Niño conditions will develop. El Niño, combined with abnormally warm sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic, will ultimately determine how active the 2023 hurricane season will be. If a strong El Niño forms this year, Florida could see it’s first below average season since 2015.
Inside Florida International University's "Wall of Wind"
FOX 35 Storm Team Meteorologist Brooks Garner tours the Wall of Wind at Florida International University in Miami. The test lab is located inside a massive hangar and can create category 5-strength hurricane winds to test the durability of buildings, structures, and building materials.
How are hurricanes ranked? What's the difference between a category 1 and category 5?
What would a theoretical ‘category 6’ hurricane look like?
New space-age technology being used to help protect homes
From boarding up windows and doors to sandbags, there are many ways to mitigate damage and protect your home during a tropical storm or hurricane. As technology changes, so do the tools. FOX 35 Chief Meteorologist talks with the owner of Orlando Hurricane Guard about a "space-age" fabric that's now being used to protect people's homes, windows, and lanais.
The 2023 hurricane season creates anxiety among some Central Florida property owners who've suffered major damage during last year's hurricane season, when Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole ravaged both of Florida's coasts within weeks of each other.
Penny Nestore’s home in New Smyrna Beach flooded last year when remnants of Hurricane Ian roared across the Florida peninsula.
"Hurricane Ian wasn't really supposed to hit us, so we did not sandbag the house as we usually do," she told FOX 35 meteorologist Allison Gargaro.
Preparing for hurricane season
- Make a plan
- Know your flood risk, evacuation zone, and evacuation route
- Make an emergency kit with at least 7 days worth of food, water, and medication for each family member. You can view Florida's disaster supply check list below.
- Stay tuned to emergency alerts. Download the FOX 35 News & FOX 35 Storm Team apps. Watch or stream FOX 35 News for the latest news and weather alerts, storm forecast tracks, and emergency information.
- Protect your property
- Collect critical documents and records (financial, medical, educational, legal)
- Remember: Turn Around, Don't Drown.
- Call 911 if in a life-threatening danger or emergency