Available 7 Days/Week       MON - FRI  8am - 7pm       SAT - SUN  10am – 6pm
Call us (305) 465-3900
Apply Now


Before the embers could cool from the Independence Day fireworks, the Keys got a visit from our first tropical event of the 2021 season: Elsa. Thankfully, Elsa wasn’t much of a system as she passed our islands on her way north. The season, however, is just beginning.

Elsa is already the fifth named storm in this young season, with Ana, Bill, Claudette, and Danny having come and gone. Ana actually formed on May 22, more than a week before the official start of the season. But these systems don’t always play by the rules — and in a few instances, these storms kept forming even after running out of the names allocated for the year.

Last year was the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record, with 30 named storms, 14 hurricanes, and seven major hurricanes. Eleven of them made landfall in the United States, and there were two Category 4 storms in November: Eta and Iota. Both of these caused extreme damage to Nicaragua.

After last year’s season, the WMO Hurricane Committee decided to quit using the letters of the Greek alphabet to name storms that formed after official names had all been used. A main rationale for this decision is that Eta and Iota, the two November Category 4 storms, would have been retired as Eta (2020) and Iota (2020). Starting this year, there is a secondary list of given names that can be officially retired if the storms are bad.

Looking back over the history of the worst storms to impact the Florida Keys, their names have a little something in common. With the exception of the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 that was nameless, most of the big tropical events that landed here have ended with the letter A: Donna (1960), Wilma (2005), and Irma (2017). Betsy (1965) and Georges (1998) were outliers, but they were offset by the extra 2005 hurricanes named Katrina and Rita. I’m really not suggesting that there is any kind of connection here at all, just as plane crashes and celebrity deaths don’t come in threes.

This year, the National Hurricane Center has forecast an above-average hurricane season, with a projected total of 13-20 named storms, 6-10 hurricanes, and 3-5 major hurricanes. If that holds true, they won’t run out of the official remaining names of Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda. And I’m not suggesting that a fall hurricane could disrupt Major League Baseball’s World Series just because Peter and Rose are consecutive names on the list … but it is just a bit interesting.

In case we do have a really active season, there is a list of alternate names that replace the Greek alphabet names from the past. The list consists of a number of more modern names, and almost sounds like the roll call from this year’s first grade class: Adria, Braylen, Caridad, Deshawn, Emery, Foster, Gemma, Heath, Isla, Jacobus, Kenzie, Lucio, Makayla, Nolan, Orlanda, Pax, Ronin, Sophie, Tayshaun, Viviana, and Will.

If we look back at the two most recent major hurricanes to impact the Keys, they both ended with “-ma” — Wilma and Irma. I’m not suggesting anything here, but… there’s a Gemma on this year’s extended list.

All joking aside, hurricane season is upon us, and now’s the time to finish your plan for both sheltering in place and evacuation if mandated. Local emergency managers and local governments have their plans in place in the event we are affected by a hurricane, and these plans are better off having been battle-tested by Irma nearly five years ago. Each agency has its own Incident Command System (ICS) in place; each ICS is “a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of emergency response providing a common hierarchy within which responders from multiple agencies can be effective.” The ICS sets up how the agency or government entity will function in the aftermath of an emergency, designates essential personnel and their functions, and coordinates how different agencies and entities will work together. 

Having a good ICS in place helped Marathon recover quickly from the immediate impacts of Irma, and will serve us well in the future should the need arise. So this year, please stay safe, listen to the emergency managers, and hope that Elsa was the only tropical event we’ll see locally this year.

Catch John Wednesdays at Herbie’s, Thursdays at Sparky’s Landing, Friday on Facebook Live, Saturday afternoon at Boondocks, and Saturday night at the Key Colony Inn. Music wherever you get your streaming or downloads. www.facebook.com/john.bartus

The post HURRICANE NAMES: WHY WE’LL NEVER HAVE ANOTHER GREEK ALPHABET STORM appeared first on Florida Keys Weekly Newspapers.

Florida Keys Weekly

#floridakeys, #upperfloridakeys, #upperkeys, #upperkeysmortgage, Keys Disease

*Assumes 2.799% APR, 20% down payment, and conforming 30-year fixed rate first mortgage on a single family, primary residence. The monthly payment you enter includes only principal and interest. Additional required amounts such as taxes, insurance, home owner association dues, assessments, mortgage insurance premiums, flood insurance or other such required payments should also be considered. Not all individuals will qualify for a mortgage loan based on the payment entered. Rates cited are for instructional purposes only; current rates are subject to change at any time without notice.  **Posted APR is based on Mortgage Assumptions
Copyright © 2021 Fidelity Home Group supports Equal Housing Opportunity | All Right Reserved  | NMLS Identifier 1834853. Fidelity Home Group is not affiliated with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Not intended for legal or financial advice, consult your own professionals if such advice is sought. Accessibility Statement  | Consent to Receive Electronic Loan Documents  |  Cookies Policy   |  Disclosures  | Email and Mobile PolicyFair Lending Policy  |  Mortgage Assumptions  |  NMLS Consumer Access  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use 

Florida Keys Mortgage | Fidelity Home Group
2011 Flagler Ave, Key West, FL 33040

Hours of Operation:

Monday - Friday 8am to 7pm EST
Saturday - Sunday 10am to 6 pm EST