Oh, yes, Hurricane Season 2015 is off to a surprisingly sprightly start

With Tropical Storm Bill drenching an already soaked Texas, it’s a good time to remind fellow Floridians we always live with the threat of damaging tropical weather and now is always a good time to get prepared.

The beginning of Hurricane Season 2015 is a good time to learn about weather, hurricanes and beef up your resources to get prepared for any tropical weather emergency. And that includes learning and using the many online resources for Hurricane Season 2015.

Hurricane Season 2015

Hurricanes – and, for that matter, tropical storms – are nothing to take lightly or take for granted. Sure our homes and community hasn’t been hit with a serious blow since Hurricane Wilma in 2005 and the U.S. National Hurricane Center’s official forecast calls for a “below normal” season in 2015.

But as one of the top hurricane experts once subtly pointed out: “It only takes one to make it very bad year.”

It just so happens, despite the relatively calm 2015 forecast, the first two named storms of the year have both made landfall along the U.S. coast.

Online resources for hurricane season

So, let’s start with the obvious – and best resource: the U.S. National Weather Service and, specifically, the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

U.S. National Hurricane CenterMaybe the Hurricane Center website hasn’t been restyled in a few years (but the mobile version is very functional, if not pretty.)

The Hurricane Center also maintains a Facebook page, which it updates as necessary. It employs a bunch of Twitter accounts and, actually, one of the best Twitter accounts comes from Craig Fugate, administrator of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and long-time emergency director in Miami.

The Hurricane Center is on YouTube, although not as frequently as it should be.

Another excellent resource, particularly on mobile, is the Weather Underground or Wunderground, a commercial site to be sure but one founded by a bunch of former Weather Service veterans.

Its mobile apps are actually pretty hard to beat and updated frequently with valuable information.

If  you really want to start getting nerdy (like some of us), Florida State University maintains a site on which you can view the latest runs of the various (if not quite all) hurricane models from which forecasts are drawn. The model runs show motion – direction and predicted intensity – and can you see what the experts see.

In addition to all these resources many local and regional news sites, newspapers and television stations, run their own hurricane pages, mobile apps, and other online resources and many are very good. Most, if not all, draw their information from the Hurricane Center and many add local and regional information.

The point is Hurricane Season 2015 comes complete with as much information and online resources as are available and the catalog of resources grows with each year. In this era of the digital world there is simply no reason to remain uneducated about hurricanes nor is there a reason to remain uninformed when the weather threatens.