Sanibel-Captiva prepare for projected busy hurricane season

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Hurricane season is underway and we’ve already seen our third named storm, with Tropical Storm Cristobal making landfall in Mexico.

Experts across the country expect a busy season, and a big concern is rising sea surface temperatures, which could impact our coastal communities.

“What is happening currently for this coming storm season is temperatures in the fueling bodies like in the Atlantic Ocean, those sea surface temperatures are warmer than average,” said Dr. Michael Savarese.

The Florida Gulf Coast University professor said there are two big considerations when predicting how the season will go.

“One is how warm the temperatures in different oceanic bodies are likely to be. That’s essentially the fuel, the energy that fuels the storms, and then what’s likely to happen in the upper atmosphere, the circulation, the winds, the high-altitude winds.”

The City of Sanibel works with FGCU to study its coastal vulnerability to sea-level rise and tropical storms.

“These studies really just provide us data to help guide our decision making. We’re already moving forward with projects to address our vulnerabilities here on Sanibel,” said James Evans, director of natural resources for Sanibel.

One of those projects is protecting the shoreline along Sanibel Captiva Road, south of Blind Pass.

Regardless of what kind of season Southwest Florida will see, Savarese said, “it’s important for people to be prepared.”

Colorado State University will release its updated hurricane season forecast on Thursday.

You can pick up the WINK News Hurricane Guide at any Publix, or find it here.

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