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Egmont Key

Egmont Key is another beautiful island in the Gulf of Mexico and Anna Maria Island’s neighbor to the North. Situated at the mouth of Tampa Bay the key is close to the Tampa Port Shipping Channel. For over 70 years, Egmont Key has been the location of a pilot station serving ship traffic into and out of the port of Tampa. It can only be reached by boat or ferry. There are several private charter and snorkeling tours offered as well as the Egmont Ferry.

History of Egmont Key

Earl of Egmont

The island comes with a lot of history given the back and forth of ownership over Florida. It was first surveyed by Spanish explorers in 1757. However, Spain had given up Florida to the British in 1763 in the first Treaty of Paris at the end of the French and Indian War. The island was named by Britain after John Perceval, the 2. Earl of Egmont. He was a British politician, political pamphleteer, and genealogist who served as First Lord of the Admiralty.

Britain divided the territory into East Florida and West Florida and the 2 Floridas remained loyal to the crown throughout the American Revolutionary War. Spain participated in this war as an ally of France.  In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War and returned all of Florida back to Spanish control. The United States Army started leading increasingly frequent incursions into Spanish territory. Over time Florida had become a burden to Spain, which could not afford to send settlers or garrisons. Madrid therefore decided to cede the territory to the United States through the Florida Purchase Treaty, which took effect in 1821. Florida become a US territory.

 

In 1847, concerns with hazardous navigation at the mouth of Tampa Bay led to the construction of the first lighthouse.  A severe hurricane, also called The Great Gale of 1848, made landfall in the Tampa Bay area and swamped the island. The lighthouse was mostly destroyed. The lighthouse keeper was able to save himself in a rowboat tied to a palm tree. He resigned after the storm had passed. In 1858, the lighthouse was replaced. It is still in operation and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard as a navigation aid.

Egmont Key also played a part at the end of the Third Seminole War. The US Army used it to detain Seminole prisoners. During the Civil War the island was occupied by Confederate and Union Troops. Defense considerations during the Spanish–American War led to the construction of Fort Dade on Egmont Key in 1899.  The Fort was completed in 1906 and the island remained a military reservation for years. Egmont Key had been the property of the U.S. Department of Defense until 1974. The U.S. Department of the Interior, specifically the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service took over.

Egmont Key Wildlife Refuge and State Park

Since 1978 the 1.6 mile long key is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was turned over to the State of Florida in 1989 and became a state park. The entire 328 acres of Egmont Key are protected by state and federal laws. The Egmont Key National Wildlife Refuge is located at the South end of island.  It is a nesting ground for shorebirds and sea turtles. There is also the gopher tortoise preserve. The Egmont Key Lighthouse and the ruins of Fort Dade are part of the park area of the island. The lighthouse is the oldest structure in the Tampa Bay area and about 87 ft high. It is not open for visitors but there is a small museum next to it. The State Park is open 365 days from 8 am to sunset. Activities consists of touring the historic sites and trails, enjoy swimming, shelling, fishing, wildlife viewing, and picnicking.

Renourishment Project

In order to protect what is left of the Fort Egmont Key’s beaches are in need of renourishment. A $10 million dredging project is slated to begin this December 2018. It is scheduled to be complete in about 5 months in time for turtle season. The sand will not be the high-quality white beach that is used for renourishment of Anna Maria Island but sand dredged from the Tampa Harbor Egmont and Mullet Key channel cuts. The sand will be placed in the middle of the West side of the island that faces the Gulf of Mexico.

 

 

 

If you like more information on day trips or other activities while spending time on Anna Maria Island please contact Team Duncan. We can be reached at 941 779 0304 or send us a quick message.

 

 

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Sandcastle Contest

Sandcastle ContestAlthough there is hardly anything better than spending time on the beautiful beaches on Anna Maria Island check out the sandcastle contest on Siesta Key. If you are looking for a special outdoor plan for this weekend head towards Sarasota and explore the annual sand sculpting festival on the barrier island just to the South of us.

The International Sand Sculpting Festival is starting today and lasting through Monday, Nov 12th. In its 9th year there will be twenty four master sand sculptures to compete for the 1st place on the Siesta Key Public Beach. A new solo competition will also be introduced.  Artists have only 24 hours to create their master piece of sand which will be displayed for 4 consecutive days in the beach outdoor gallery. Daily tickets will be sold and over 50 000 attendees are expected.

 

There will be more than just sand! This open air festival also features live music, a large village of shopping and food vendors. Check out the sand sculpting lessons and the amateur sculpting competition. Have fun in the party tent on Saturday and Sunday night and admire the sculptures lit through a fabulous light display.

Anna Maria Island also features a sandcastle contest which is usually held in November. It was postponed this year to an undetermined date.

Find out about more events or call our knowledgeable Duncan Vacation rental team for more information at 941 779 0304.

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Historic Pine Avenue Shops

Historic Pine Ave with Roser Church

The half mile stretch that runs from the Gulf of Mexico to Tampa Bay is home to about 25+ Pine Avenue shops and businesses. It comes with a lot of history. The first island settler George Emerson Bean called the island his home in 1892 and started developing streets, sidewalks and installing a water system. In 1911 the Anna Maria City Pier at the end of Pine Avenue was built to ferry island day visitors from nearby Tampa. Bean’s contemporary John Roser built the first church on Pine Avenue in 1913.  Shortly after came a school that lead to the beginning of an island community. A jail was built just down the street from the church in 1927 for the drunk and disorderly visitors. The roof was lost a long time ago and it now serves as popular photo op. It is part of the historic museum complex which displays many highly interesting island memorabilia.

In 1921 the first wooden bridge was built connecting the island to the mainland passing the fishing village of Cortez. Part of the original bridge is now used as the Bradenton Beach Pier. With the help of a bridge more people visited the beach and the new island era began.  Skip close to 100 years and the face of the island has changed a lot. The entire land has been developed and about 8500 residents call the barrier island their permanent home. There are families, children, singles and retirees all living here together. Let’s not forget how Anna Maria Island has become a vacation favorite among local, national and international travelers. From honeymooners to Hollywood film crews, youngsters to the young-at-heart, people from around the world have discovered this slice of paradise.

 

Shopping Pine Avenue

Pine Avenue Shops

With the steady flow of visitors many new shops and businesses opened up along Pine Avenue. Since many of them use environmentally-friendly practices it is also called “The Greenest Little Main Street in America”. There is even a community garden that features several edible boxed gardens located outside certain Pine Avenue destinations. Each box has an information card and a scannable QR code. Local landscape designer Michael Miller helped installing the garden which goal is to encourage people to learn more about, see and eat exotic-sounding vegetables like Okinawa spinach, edible hibiscus or moringa.  There are eateries like The Donut Experiement, Poppa’s Taqueria, Burns Pizza, Hometown Dessert to name a few. The General store, Olive Oil Outpost, Spice Merchant are other great stores to find unusual food items. Several boutiques and artsy stores like Bella by the Sea, The Island Cabana, Shiny Fish Emporium, Pink&Navy, Emerson Studio and Tide and Moon make a stroll interesting.  BeachBums is a quirky rental store that offers beach merchandise and rental equipment like bikes, golf carts and surreys. Technically not on Pine Ave but situated at the end of Pine Avenue stood the Anna Maria City Pier for more than 100 years. Hurricane Irma in 2017 caused severe damage and the pier had to be torn down with plans to be rebuilt and completed in 2019.

Duncan Real Estate is also located on the historic stretch with the address 310 Pine Avenue.

Pine Avenue Events

 

Trick-or-Treaters at Duncan Real Estate

Pine Avenue is a popular street for festivals and has seen its share of a lot of fun over the years. The Easter Parade is the first event of the year. It features a large than life size bunny that leads the group of kids from the SandBar Restaurant to fun, games and Easter bonnet contest to Pine Ave.

A Saturday in May was reserved for “Food and Wine on Pine” for several years until is was discontinued in 2017. It was all about celebration of food and wine found all over the island from about 20 of the area’s finest restaurants plus music, art and kids activity area.

Bayfest is a staple and the most anticipated island event. Since its inauguration in 2000 the all-day street festival has lots to offer. The classic car show always draws a big crowd starting as early as 10 am. The family friendly atmosphere features arts, crafts, music, food and a kids zone.

 

 

Holiday Walk 2017 Realtors Martha Jones, April Green

The Trail of Treats celebrates Halloween for the little ones. Businesses are welcoming Trick-or-Treaters in the afternoon hours on October 31.

Another larger street celebration is the Christmas Walk in December. Pine Avenue becomes a pedestrian zone and businesses open their doors to showcase their products and offer snacks, treats and winter themed goodies.

The yearly 4th of July, Veterans and Christmas parades also run along Pine Avenue with crows lining the street.

 

 

 

Vacation Rentals close to Pine Avenue

 

Duncan Real Estate Office

Duncan Real Estate has a convenient location along historic Pine Avenue. We opened our doors in 2001 and offer real estate and vacation rentals. If you like to stay close to this area of Anna Maria Island consider one of the following Duncan Real Estate vacation rentals:

AMI Du Soleil
207 Spring Ave, Anna Maria

Bodacious Oasis
514 Magnolia Ave, Anna Maria

Haupia House
315 Hardin Ave, Anna Maria

 

Manatee Cottage
149 Crescent Dr, Anna Maria

Sea Mist
512 Magnolia Street, Anna Maria

For these or other Duncan Vacation Rentals on Anna Maria Island please contact our local team at 941 779 0304 or send us a quick message.

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Bayfest 2018

The Bayfest 2018 was held Saturday, Oct 20th and opened the festival season on the Anna Maria Island. The event is sponsored by the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce. As usually, large crowds started filling Pine Avenue as early as 10 am. Despite summer like temperatures the day was another success. Duncan Real Estate tradition is giving out fans that were in high demand again this year. 500 fans went in less than 1 hour.

 

Bayfest 2018

Lindsey Leech, Martha Jones and Darcie Duncan of Duncan Real Estate

With a full program lots of entertainment was offered.  The Bill Mergens Memorial Auto show is a classic car show named after the show’s late organizer. It displayed more than 100 vehicles that were lining on the West part of Pine Avenue. Visitors admired the different models with owners close by to answer any questions. Many vendors lined the street and offered their merchandise like arts and crafts. Non-profit organizations gave out information and support options. The Kid’s Zone with a bounce house, slides and games is always a big success and the kid friendly activities offers by the Roser Memorial Community Church. Little ones enjoyed arts, coloring and face painting. Food and music are other highlights.

Car Show Bayfest 2018

Duncan Real Estate Office

 

Despite a serious problem with red tide this summer it was great to see thousands of people coming out and enjoying the day along Pine Avenue. According to Chamber President Terri Kinder some of the proceeds will go to Island workers who suffered as the Island economy was hit by the lack of business from the red tide.

If you missed all the fun this time put this event on your calendar for next year. Bayfest is usually held the third Saturday in October. Here the full program that was offered:

Bayfest 2018 Program

Please call Team Duncan at 941 779 0304 to learn more about other festivals this season or send us a quick message.

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National Night Out on Anna Maria Island

The Holmes Beach Police Department invited to their National Night Out on Anna Maria Island and lots of people came and enjoyed the outdoor activities on a warm fall evening.

This national event began in 1984 and started simply with neighbors turning on their porch lights and sitting in front of their houses. It is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch in the United States and Canada and has evolved into much larger festivities. The National Night Out 2016 had a participation of 38 million residents in 16,000 communities across the United States. Most communities celebrate the first Tuesday in August. Texas and Florida shifted the date to the first Tuesday in October due to the warmer climate. The event was created to increase awareness about police programs in communities like drug prevention, town or neighborhood watch and other crime reducing  efforts. It is supposed to build neighborhood camaraderie.

 

This October 2, 2018 many island organizations, companies and the Holmes Beach Police Department put a great outreach program together. It was bigger than last year and took place at the City Field North of the Holmes Beach City hall. The festivities lasted from 4-8 pm and included a number of activities like slides, skill games, free food, bike and toy giveaways. Many island shops offered hot dogs, tacos, popcorn, snow cones, ice cream and barbecue items.

 

 

“DUNCAN DUNKINGS”

Duncan Real Estate sponsored the dunk tank that featured the police chief, the mayor of Holmes Beach and most popular with the island kids some teachers of the local Anna Maria Elementary School. Lines were long for the educator dunkings!

Sounds like a great time! See you next year!

If you like more information about upcoming events join our newsletter or contact Team Duncan at 941 779 0304!

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Anna Maria Island Red Tide Fundraiser

A picture perfect sunset accompanied the diners at the Anna Maria Island Red Tide Fundraiser in response to the recent algae outbreak. 160 guests enjoyed the long table 5 course dinner sitting right on the beach in front of the SandBar restaurant on August 26, 2018. The event raised money to benefit START (Solutions To Avoid Red Tide) – an organization dedicated to Red Tide research. It was also helping bringing awareness to island businesses that are hit very hard by the devastating effects of this year’s Red Tide bloom. The impact was immediate and also coincides with the slowest time of the island tourist season. It resulted in abrupt income loss for many business owners.

 

Anna Maria Island Fundraiser

Jack Elka Photography

 

Sponsors of this event were many local restaurants like the SandBar, Anna Maria Oyster Bar, Blue Marlin, Dry Dock Grill, Seafood Shack and The Waterfront Restaurant. Others included Visit Florida, Bradenton Area and Convention Bureau, Darwin Brewing, Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing and the Bradenton Herald.

Darcie Duncan, owner and broker of Duncan Real Estate, participated in the festivities. Pictured below are Carol Whitmore, (Manatee County Commissioner, left), Darcie Duncan (middle) and John Horne (owner of Anna Maria Oyster Bar, right).

 

If you like to get the latest information on the beach conditions please contact Team Duncan. We aim to provide our guests and customers with the most accurate information about the daily situation. Please call us at 941 779 0304 or send us a quick message here.

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Red Tide in the Gulf of Mexico

If you have been to the Florida Gulf coast you have heard of Red Tide. The harmful algal bloom is the rapid growth of microscopic algae. It generally occurs in late summer or early fall. Along the Gulf coast of Florida and Texas, the algae species Karenia brevis produces toxins that have harmful effects on people, fish, marine mammals and birds. It can result in large fish kills and discolored water. These brevetoxins can become airborne when wave action breaks the cells and can cause severe respiratory irritation in people.

Luckily, Anna Maria Island has not seen severe outbreaks on a yearly basis. Oftentimes the blooms occur in the South Western Gulf of Mexico and don’t travel all the way into our region.

The latest update from Sep 27, 2018 according to the Mote Marine report shows the welcome improvement of the situation on Anna Maria Island. Locals and visitors are enjoying the beaches again!

Research of Red Tide

Biologists have documented the occurrence and abundance of K. brevis for more than 50 years, during which detection and monitoring technologies have changed dramatically. The local Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota is involved in the Red Tide research program.

Prior to 1970s Florida red tides were believed to originate inshore. Blooms and respiratory irritation were most often observed first around passes and barrier islands. It is now determined that red tides begin in nutrient-poor water 111 to 46 miles offshore. There are 4 stages of a bloom. First is accumulation and spreading into an area.  During the second stage growth occurs. The population steadily increases and within a few weeks, K. brevis concentrations may be high enough to kill fish. In the third stage wind and currents control the bloom’s movement. If the algae moves inshore, nutrient runoff from land may promote bloom expansion. A bloom can linger in coastal areas for days, weeks or even months. During the last stage wind and currents disperse the cells.  New water introduction reduces the concentration of K. brevis cells.

Status information

Scientists are now able to better forecast red tides and their movements. Besides water sampling and enumeration (cell counts), molecular tools and toxin analysis the detection with satellite imagery is a helpful tool. The collected data can be used in predictive models of bloom movement.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) publishes reports on the current status of Karenia brevis blooms using tables, static maps, and interactive Google Earth maps. Please click on more information here. Mote’s Beach Conditions Reporting System provides shoreline observations for public beaches like Manatee County Beach and Coquina Beach on Anna Maria Island. The information is updated as often as twice daily at visitbeaches.org.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also issues bulletins that contain an analysis of ocean color satellite imagery, field observations, models, public health reports and buoy data.

Manatee County is also updating daily at mymanatee.org/redtide.

Anna Maria Island Red Tide

 

Please contact Team Duncan for more information on this topic. Our office is open Monday through Saturday. We are looking forward to your call at 941 779 0304  or send us a quick message here.

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No trash on the beach please!


The most beautiful, white sandy beaches set Anna Maria Island apart from other island getaways. Let’s all keep it that way and work on our common goal of no trash on the beach!

Garbage in the oceans

Garbage Patch items

With more than 320 million metric tons of plastic produced every year a disturbing amount of it ends up in our oceans. The biggest accumulation is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  It appears more like open water in the areal view but it is like a massive swirling vortex with debris inside from all over the world. The patch has grown to twice the size of Texas. 92% are estimated to come from larger pieces but 1.7 trillion pieces are micro plastic. Many of it is eaten by marine animals, filling up their stomachs to the point of being fatal or becoming part of the food supply chain. Toxins are released into the water and pose a danger to all of us.

 

Trash on the beaches

Kamilo Beach, Hawaii

Kamilo Beach, Hawaii

The nightmare of turning a beautiful place into a nasty environmental disaster is Kamilo Beach on Hawaii. It is also known as “Junk Beach”.  A  formerly  lovely white sand beach is now a trap for countless tons of trash. Because of the Pacific currents ocean garbage accumulates in massive proportions.

In organized Florida beach clean ups cigarette butts are the most common type of garbage found.  Considering that it takes more than 10 years for a cigarette to decompose leaving butts behind is just not right. The beach is not a big ashtray. Also, smoking exposes others to second hand smoke and deprives them to enjoy the fresh salty air.

 

 

Other top ten objects collected are solely plastic items. The list contains bags, cups, lids, food containers, food wrappers, toys and plastic straws. Again, coastal animals can mistake small plastic items for food. And who wants to sit on the beach surrounded by unsightly plastic items.

The SandBar Restaurant on the North end of the island and its sister restaurants BeachHouse and Marvista switched to more eco-friendly paper straws last year to make a little difference.

On Anna Maria Island, every beach access has garbage containers to dispose of trash appropriately. There is really is no reason to bring items to the beach and leave them behind.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are several ways to contribute to keep our beaches clean. The mission of the nonprofit organization “Keep Manatee Beautiful” is to bring together volunteers, businesses and local governments to provide grassroots solutions to littering, illegal dumping, solid waste disposal, recycling and beautification. They organize regular clean ups. The next event is scheduled Oct 6th, 2018. It is the International Coastal Clean Up sponsored by the Ocean Conservancy.

The Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch and Bird Monitoring group helps to keep the beach habitat clean for wildlife and people alike. The volunteers walk the beach every morning during turtle season and collect trash once the nest activity has been recorded. Especially plastic bags pose a danger to the turtles as they mistake them for their favorite food source –  jellyfish.

Turtle Watch clean up

The Sarasota Bay Watch conducts an annual Sister Keys Clean Up. During this year’s effort 80 volunteers worked for four hours on the island and around the mangrove fringes to collect 1,300 pounds of trash and 80 recyclable items.

If you like to learn more about Anna Maria Island’s community efforts contact one of our Team Duncan members. We are former and current Turtle Watch members, life long island residents and beach lovers.

Please contact us at 941 779 0304 or send us a a quick message here.

 

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Always something new in Orlando!

If you are relaxing on Anna Maria Island and need a change of scenery there is always something new and exciting going on in the Orlando parks. Just about 2 hours away from the beaches it is a perfect day trip destination. Beware – you will only see a glimpse of what the city has to offer if you don’t plan on staying overnight.

When Walt Disney started the “Florida Project” he could have not foreseen the enormous impact that his vision created.  Magic Kingdom started it all in 1971. Today, there are more parks than you can count with your fingers. Walt Disney World of course is the most visited vacation resort in the world, with an average annual attendance of over 52 million.

To keep up with the insatiable entertainment appetite of the flocking tourists and competition among the various parks there is always the next big thing to admire. The 3 main contenders are:

Disney World OrlandoDisney World

The Disney emporium with Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and EPCOT will keep you busy for days. In addition, there are 2 water parks, 27 themed resort hotels, 9 non-Disney hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort and the outdoor shopping center Disney Springs. The latest addition is Toy Story Land in the Hollywood Studios where every visitor is shrunken down to toy size as they explore Andy’s backyard. The “Slinky Dog Dash” roller coaster and the “Alien Swirling Saucers” rides will thrill the little ones.

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

The Mako ride was just recently added and is the fastest, longest and tallest coaster in Orlando. If you survive the ride you might like a free Mako Red Ale to go along with the experience.  SeaWorld offers two complimentary 7-ounce beers per visit from May 18, through September 2, 2018. The park will rotate beer offerings throughout the summer at the Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen Patio.

Seaworld Orlando

The water park Aquatica also added a new attraction.  “Ray Rush” is a three-in-one thrill. The water adventure launches your raft from zero to awesome in just seconds. Twisting turns as you spin inside a colossal water sphere follow. Lastly, you dive into giant manta wings, swooping up and down giving a different path each time.

Their partner parks Busch Gardens and Adventure Island are located in Tampa, which is only about 1 h away from Anna Maria Island.

 

Universal Studios OrlandoUniversal Parks and Resorts

This park complex is the second largest after Disney. It offers 3 amazing theme parks and the Universal Citywalk with Dining like the Hard Rock Cafe Orlando and the Blue Man Group Show. This entertainment area is just steps away from the entrance of the 2 original Universal parks. The complex also includes 6 Loews Hotels.

Vulcano Bay is the newest of the three and opened in May 2017. This water park features 4 areas that are inspired by Polynesian islands. The centerpiece of the park is the 200 ft tall vulcano “Krakatau” that displays waterfalls during the day and lava flows at night.

The progress at the other 2 theme parks has not stopped after the addition of the huge Harry Potter’s world. Still impressive is the Hogwarts Epress that connects both areas and can only be used if you are holding day tickets to both parks.  On the Universal Studios side a 3D motion-simulator attraction “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” opened April 2017. The “Fast and Furious” Supercharged ride invited their first guests in April 2018.  

Island of Adventures opened in 1999 and has seen various additions and changes. The original concept was based on six  islands with their rides and attractions based on DC Comics, Dr. Seuss, and Warner Bros.  Island number 8 opened in July 2016 with Skull Island: Reign of Kong. Plans for a Harry Potter roller coster are in the works and the new ride is scheduled to open in 2019.

Whether you are staying on Anna Maria Island and just plan a quick visit to Orlando or looking to relax after a few days at the parks the Duncan Vacation team can help finding you the perfect accommodation. Give us a call at 941 779 0304 or send us a a quick message here.

 

 

 

 

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Less active Hurricane Season 2018

An updated forecast by the Colorado State University calls for a less active hurricane season 2018. The yearly storm season in the Atlantic basin runs from June 1 to Nov 30. The weather pattern changes from the drier months in the beginning of the year to the typical summer weather. On Anna Maria Island, you can see the thunderstorm clouds pushing from the East coast towards the West in the afternoon.

On the average the U.S. mainland sees about one to two landfalls each season. For example, last year hurricane Irma was a monster storm that hit Florida and caused severe damage to the historic Anna Maria Island City Pier.

Naming hurricanes

The yearly forecast estimates how many named storms are expected. When a tropical depression displays a rotating circulation pattern and reaches a wind speed 39 miles per hour it will become a tropical storm and gets a name. These names are based on a strict procedure established by the World Meteorological Organization. For Atlantic hurricanes, there is a list of male and female names which are used on a six-year rotation. If a major storm occurred that caused severe damage the name will be stricken from the list and replaced.

Most destructive storms

A hurricane is formed when wind speeds reach 74 mph. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale classifies the storms into 5 categories. The ratings from 1 to 5 estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 5 storms exceed 156 mph maximum sustained winds. The extremely destructive and deadly Hurricane Katrina was a Category 5 storm at one point. It caused catastrophic damage along the Gulf coast from central Florida to Texas due the storm surge and levee failure. The strongest Atlantic hurricanes  on record is Allen in 1980 with winds at 190 mph. There were only 3 hurricanes at Category 5 to hit the U.S.: Andrew in 1992, Camille in 1969 and an unnamed storm in 1935.

The original storm forecast for 2018 called for 14 total named storms with 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes. The updated outlook estimates a significant reduction to 11 total named storms, 4 hurricanes and 1 major hurricane. This includes Alberto, a subtropical storm that occurred in May and before the actual hurricane season. Several reasons are given for these lower numbers.

Why less storms in 2018?

There are several factors coming into play for a reduced chance of hurricanes for this year.

Firstly, the Atlantic Ocean temperature pattern features cooler than average sea-surface temperatures that expanded in the eastern Atlantic and in the central northern Atlantic. This anomaly when occurring in June seems to represent more inactive hurricane seasons. The water temperatures between the Lesser Antilles and Africa are supportive for tropical growth nearly year-round. The warmer the water is in that region the more likely a tropical storm will develop. If the cooler than average trend persists and continues into the more active months of August, September and October less tropical activity east of the Caribbean can be expected. Subtropical Storm Alberto was able to develop before the start of the official storm season in the relatively warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Since then the water temperature is cooler than average which diminishes the chances of storms to develop.

 

The weather phenomena El Niño in the Pacific ocean can also influence Atlantic conditions.  The current atmospheric component suggest a less active season than originally thought. Waters in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean have warmed above average and FEMA experts also noted an abnormally strong wind shear over the Caribbean Sea in June. This hurricane season is feeling the effects of a developing El Niño.

Lastly, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) that defines the pattern of pressure gradients over the northern Atlantic Ocean is expected to remain positive through the next few months. The Azores-Bermuda high-pressure system and the Greenland low-pressure system are strengthened in this positive phase of the NAO. This creates a stronger pressure gradient and increased wind between the two systems and more wind around the Azores-Bermuda high. This means a quicker track for winter storms crossing the northern Atlantic. However, during hurricane season it brings less than favorable conditions for storm development with three components:

  • Gustier winds across much of the subtropics and North Atlantic
  • Cooler water temperature
  • A slightly faster tropical wave track across the Atlantic.

Only one larger storm can bring devastating damage but luckily Anna Maria Island has been very fortunate over the last 50+ years. We all hope that Irma was the exception. With all the indicators for a less than active hurricane season summer looks great! Enjoy the beach!

If you looking for the perfect island getaway contact the Duncan Real Estate vacation team at 941 779 0304 send us a quick message here.

 

Contact us or call Duncan Real Estate today at 941-779-0304 to speak with our knowledgeable real estate specialists.