One thing about living in Florida that is as inevitable as mosquitoes and tourists is Hurricane Season. Floridians know this almost instinctively, though there are many who have chosen to move to the Sunshine State, so here’s the important information: Hurricane Season for Florida and the rest of the East Coast is between June 1st and November 30th. (For the curious among us, the West Coast hurricane season is between May 9th and November 6th.) Of that six month period, the peak period for hurricanes is between August 1st and October 31st.

Hurricane tracking is serious business, and not just for those immediately in the path of potential storms. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and Colorado State University (CSU) both have teams of scientists dedicated to studying hurricanes and predicting what is in store for each hurricane season.  They collect information about every storm that forms and keep records going back to 1981, and combine that with current meteorological patterns to forecast each year’s hurricane season; this year, both organizations predict that 2019 will have a slightly below average season.

Fewer potentially devastating storms is a good thing, right? Well, yes. However, you also have to take into account what an average hurricane season looks like, and what NOAA and CSU mean by “slightly below average.” According to CSU, the average season in the Atlantic has about 13 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. The 2019 season is predicted to have 13 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes.  That is definitely “slightly below average.” As of this writing, there has been only one named storm, and we’re just now heading into the peak of the season.

What should you do in the meantime? Honestly, go about your normal life. There is a lot of information about hurricane preparedness on the Internet, so a quick Google search will be extremely helpful; print off a list of supplies to keep on hand and stock up early, then develop a plan in case a hurricane heads your way. Talk to your neighbors, pay attention to the news and weather reports, and make good choices. The season will be over before you know it.