Squalls out on the gulf stream, Big storm commin’ soon Passed out in my hammock God, I slept till way past noon
– Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season
Living in South Florida, you learn a lot about the world. First, you are not as brave as you think you are when you realize that roaches can fly. Second, no place, no matter how far you travel is as humid as South Florida. Third, Adobe season makes everything better. And last, there is no reasoning with hurricane season.
Hurricane Season, which begins on June 1 and goes through Thanksgiving, is something that most Floridians anticipate, much like the North anticipates the fall season. Except there is no hurricane season double grande lattes at your local Starbucks. Now there would be a flavor of coffee; dirt, sweet, mixed in with bugs and mugginess to create such a delightful flavor. I am going to stick with my pumpkin latte, thank you.
Hurricanes might be the big storm, but throughout those months when the Atlantic Ocean is brewing her deadliest, we Floridians get a sample of appetizers to snack on. Meaning the weather during these months is a little unpredictable. Think if Mother Nature went off her meds for schizophrenia, sociopath, and split personality while she was going through PMS and menopause at the same time, and you get a glimpse of what the weather is like during hurricane season.
One minute it is monsooning and the next it is a bright day. You can watch a storm stroll down the street, and every day is a 50 percent chance of rain. Mixed in with the fact that South Florida is the lightning capital of the world and you get hurricane seasons.
I have lived most of my life here, and except for a college and a breath stint when I first got out, Florida has been my home. So by now, you would think I have some understanding of this crazy time of the year, when making outdoor plans is a gamble. But the truth is, I still haven’t figured it out.
About three weeks ago, we were supposed to be hit by a tropical storm, so like any Floridian, I rushed out to get my supplies, unplug everything, and wait in total darkness for the storm to hit. This one decided to take a detour and hit the northwestern part of the state, leaving us alone except for a bunch of thunderstorms, and a supposed tornado.
Not much to talk about. But after spending two days of doing the unplug everything and re-plugging everything every 20 minutes, not going out, but board out of your mind, it makes one think how anyone wants to live in these conditions.
But after living through two of deadliest hurricanes, a bunch of not so deadly category 2s, countless tropical storm and one storm of the century (Hurricane Andrew), you don’t take the warning lightly.
Thankfully, we just had installed hurricane impact windows, or I would have been living with having to board up the place too.
And you can always tell when it is hurricane season, because first off, your local Publix always has at least one display of hurricane supplies, second you will see the houses that are completely boarded up, but people are still living in it. We have a tendency that once the shutters go up, they stay up during the whole stormy season even if nothing else happens. And three, we stock up on alcohol. You need something to get you through being boarded up with your family, with no electricity. And usually, about 9 months after the big one hits, you will see an increase in the populations. Again, you need something to take away the boredom.
With all the craziness of hurricane season, you might wonder why anyone would want to live here. The truth is…we just get used to them, like alligators they are here to stay.
To most Floridians, anything below a category 3 is a day off from work and the chance to host a hurricane party. We moan and groan when the meteorologists find another system out in the Atlantic, and talk about our generators. But for the most part, hurricane season is something that most Floridians don’t notice, much like the autumn up north.
The views of sunrise and sunset from my back yard
There is one good aspect about the Florida hurricane season, is that we get some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
So in the end, I guess the Jimmy Buffet Song, Trying to Reason with Hurricane Season, is true.
There’s white caps on the ocean
And I’m watchin’ for water spouts
It’s time to close the shutters
It’s time to go inside
In a week I’ll be in gay par-ey
Hell that’s a mighty long airplane ride