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Beach Time on Anna Maria Island!

Summer is here and beach time on Anna Maria Island officially starts! School is out, the Gulf waters are warming up and locals as tourists are flocking to the beach. Just remember a few hints and have a great time enjoying sand and surf!

Beach flag warning system

Look at the flags at the Coquina and Manatee Public Beach. The life guards will change the flags accordingly:

Red – Swim with extreme caution due to strong currents or rough surf
Yellow – Swim with caution due to strong currents or rough surf
Green – Swimming allowed, calm conditions
Purple – Presence of marine pests such as jellyfish, sharks, stingrays or red tide

 

UV-Rays

Don’t underestimate Florida’s sun! It is extremely strong and applying sunscreen is a must if you do not like to suffer the rest of your vacation stay. Cover ups like hats and other UV protective gear, umbrellas or sun tents are also recommended.

 

Lightning

Have you been to the beach when you see the most beautiful turquoise water under blue skies and turn around to see dark, ominous clouds coming from the other side? Please remember Tampa Bay is called  the “Lightning Capital of the World” and the safest place to be in a thunderstorm is indoors. Head off the beach when you hear thunder in the distance because lightning is in striking distance.

 

Shore Fishing

Fishing directly off the shores on Anna Maria Island requires a saltwater fishing license for anyone over 16.  The piers have a blanket license under which you are covered.  Watch out for swimmers close to you. Nobody wants to be “hooked”.

 

 

Pool safety

Are you renting a home with a private pool? The sad statistic is that drowning is the leading cause of death of young children in Florida. Therefore a residential swimming pool must have at least one of these pool safety features. Make yourself familiar which safety option is at your rental home.
(a) the pool must be isolated from access to a home by an enclosure that meets the pool barrier requirements
(b) the pool must be equipped with an approved safety pool cover
(c) all doors and windows providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with an exit alarm
(d) all doors providing direct access from the home to the pool must be equipped with a self-closing, self-latching device

 

 

Litter Control

There are about 372,000 miles of world coastline with over one-third of the total human population or about 2.4 billion people living within 60 miles of an oceanic coast. Please be aware of what you are bringing to the beach and more importantly that you take it all back. With plastic trash accumulating in the oceans we all can help out a bit. There are trash and recycle receptacles at every beach access on the island.
Leaving nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories!

 

Hurricane Season

The official start for the storm season is June 1st and lasts through November 30th. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a near normal hurricane season with 9-15 names storms. The ongoing El Nino is expected to stay in place and suppress the intensity of the hurricane season. Preparation is key. If there is a mandatory evacuation all islanders need to leave which includes all vacation renters.

 

 

If you are planing to vacation on Anna Maria Island call Team Duncan for all your rental needs at 941 779 0304,  book online or send us us a quick message here.

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Birds of Anna Maria Island

white pelican on Anna Maria islandThe birds of  Anna Maria Island are just another part of the ecologically diverse paradise that is known for its sugar white, powdery beaches on the Gulf coast of Florida. Bird lovers will experience many sightings along the beach or in the sanctuaries on the island like Grassy Point or Leffis Key and the Robinson and Neal Preserve just over the bridge in Bradenton. There are local and migrating birds with the white pelicans being most visible in the winter months. Some shorebirds like to feed at high tide while others feed at low tide which makes any time during the day a perfect opportunity for bird watching by the water.

 

Bird Nesting Season

The Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch is also involved in shorebird monitoring. The bird nesting season on the island is a bit different than the turtle season and it runs from March through August. There are a few tips to observe during that time.

  • Never touch a shorebird chick, even if it is wandering outside a staked nesting area.
  • Teach kids not to chase birds. Bird parents may abandon their nests if they are disturbed.
  • Don’t feed birds. It encourages them to fly at people aggressively.
  • If birds are screeching or flying at you, you are too close.
  • Avoid posted bird nesting areas and use designated walkways to the beach.
  • Keep pets away from bird nesting areas. Dogs are not allowed on the beaches of Anna  Maria Island.
  • Keep the beaches clean. Food scraps attract predators like racoons or crows and litter can entangle birds and other wildlife.

The Manatee County Audubon Society in partnership with Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch is sponsoring a Bird Steward program during the busiest weekends on Anna Maria Island.  The information collected on the Memorial Day holiday weekend and July 4th weekend is used to provide information to the beach visitors about the nesting birds and the importance of not disturbing the birds.  2 volunteers are taking 3 hours shift from 8 am to 8 pm. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife has an Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC to report people disturbing nesting birds.

Bird Species

Other most common birds seen on Anna Maria Island are below:

Anhinga – The Anhinga, sometimes confused with the cormorant, has a longer, wider tail with a pale brown stripe, and dark wings patched with silver. The neck is extremely long and thin except when expanded to swallow fish caught by the diving bird’s pointed yellow beak.

Brown Pelican – Majestic brown pelicans are often seen perched on channel markers or swooping inches above the rolling waves. An instantly recognizable pouched beak and webbed feet enable this variety of pelican to dive into the water to scoop up food. Mature adults have a white head, dark brown and gray body, and a incredible wingspan of over seven feet.

Great Blue Heron – Standing at up to four feet in height, the regal great blue heron can be spotted wading along the shores of Anna Maria’s waterways and coastlines. Mostly covered in gray, the king of Sarasota’s wading birds is identifiable by the white crown stripe extending from behind its beak. Particular to south Florida and some areas of the Caribbean, the great white heron (not to be confused with the white egret) may also be sighted occasionally.

Roseate Spoonbill – Anna Maria is one of the few places in America where observers can find the roseate spoonbill, a somewhat odd yet elegant pink bird that is often mistaken for a flamingo. While its similar color may confuse visitors.  The distinctive spatulate bill and bald crown help to differentiate this bird from its Caribbean cousin.

Snowy Egret – The yellow feet and long black legs help the snowy egret to stalk small fish swimming alongside the edges of Sarasota’s ponds and coastlines. This brilliant white bird is distinguished by its black beak and small yellow accent under the eye. Though smaller than the great egret, the snowy egret’s flight over Sarasota Bay is still a breathtaking sight.

White Ibis – Often seen along Anna Maria’s coastlines, the white ibis sometimes wanders inland to search for food with its curved, orange-red beak. Mostly white in color, this medium-sized bird’s mask and legs are a matching red with black accenting the wing-tips.

Christmas Bird Count

The Audubon Society holds the Christmas Bird Count, a tradition introduced by the ornithologist Frank M. Chapman beginning on Christmas Day 1900. The last count was held December 15,2018 in Bradenton for a 15 mile circle with 149 species registered.

Manatee Audubon Society

Interested in learning more about the birds of Anna Maria Island? Visit the Anna Maria Turtle Watch volunteers at the weekly Tuesday farmers market at the end of Pine Ave or stop by our office Duncan Real Estate, also on historic Pine Avenue. You can reach us at 941 779 0304 or a send us a quick message.

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Turtle Season 2019

Turtle Season 2019 is fast approaching on Anna Maria Island. The official start date is May 1st and will last through October 31, 2019. It is that time of year when special beach rules are in place to protect the threatened sea turtles that are coming ashore to lay eggs and their babies.

Loggerhead Turtles

Anna Maria Island on the Gulf of Mexico sees mostly the loggerhead sea turtle which is also found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, as well as the Mediterranean Sea. They are named for their oversized large log like head.

A female loggerhead sea turtle may travel thousands of miles to return to the beach where she hatched as a baby to lay her own eggs as an adult. This species has a low reproductive rate. The turtle reaches sexual maturity within 17–33 years and has a lifespan of 47–67 years. Females generally nests every two to three years. On average, they lay eggs four times in one nesting season with each nest containing up to 100 eggs.Hatchlings will appear after about 60 days and dig their way up through the sand toward the surface. They wait underneath the last layer of sand until nightfall to pop out and head toward the ocean. to avoid predators like raccoons, crabs and birds.

 

Lights

The three Anna Maria Island cities will monitor the compliance of all island residents strictly. Lighting inspections will begin the 1st week of May. All lights that are a direct point source of light visible from the beach from sunset to sunrise  need to be turned off or shielded.  Turtle friendly bulbs (including rope lighting) need to be installed. Mother turtles can get confused by the lights when they come ashore to nest which could result in a false crawl where the mothers are not staying to lay their eggs or even drop them in the water where they do not hatch. Also, when baby turtles are hatching during the night they depend on the moon light to guide them to the water. Other light sources can be distractions and can result in disorientation which is fatal for the hatchlings when reaching Gulf Drive instead of the Gulf of Mexico.

Don’t use flashlights, lanterns or camera flashes during the nighttime on the beach.

Turtle Season 2019Beach

All beach furniture and related beach items must be removed from the beach and/or pulled back behind the frontal dune line from sunset to sunrise. Objects can deter sea turtles from nesting or become obstacles that can entangle them in those items.  Turtles do not have a “reverse gear” and cannot free themselves.

Also, beach-goers should fill in holes that they dug in the sand before leaving the beach. Nesting turtles or hatchlings can get trapped, get distressed and cannot live long out of the water.

 

Keep your Distance

If you happen to spot a female turtle or hatchlings on the beaches keep your distance. Never touch a sea turtle – it is the law! The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission has a Wildlife Alert hotline at 1-888-404 FWCC in case you notice anything unusual.

 

Anna Maria Island Sea Turtle NestAnna Maria Island Turtle Watch

This organization monitors the turtle nesting activities. Each morning volunteers walk the beach and watch for tracks and signs of new nests that are getting marked. After the hatchlings left the nest the shells are counted and recorded for state documentation. More information is available on the Island Turtle Watch website at islandturtlewatch.com.

 

Team Duncan members proudly participate in the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch program. Please call Duncan Vacation Rentals at 941 779 0304 for any Island related questions. Our knowledgeable stuff is looking forward to assisting you weather planing your next trip or some local tips for a great holiday experience on Anna Maria Island.

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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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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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Economic Impact of Red Tide

Congressman Vern Buchanan held a round table discussion with a small group of area businesses on the economic impact of Red Tide on Friday, August 24th 2018.
Red Tide has hit the Gulf coast of Florida and reached Anna Maria Island about 2 weeks ago.
Dr. Crosby, the CEO of Mote Marine, explained the scientific side of it. Red Tide is a natural phenomenon and the severity of the bloom might be influenced by humane impact in form of terrestrial water runoff. The main focus is to forecast and control the blooms of Red Tide. The existence of this algae has been documented for centuries and the field is usually located about 30 miles offshore. If scientists can control and attack an outbreak before it reaches the shore the devastating effect on marine life, people and tourism could be prevented. Also, being able to forecast the movement of Red Tide will help the coastal communities.

Congressman Buchanan (right) listens to Dr. Crosby’s (left) Red Tide summary.

Island Impact of Red Tide

Duncan Real Estate represented the only real estate company on Anna Maria Island to discuss this year’s outbreak and the effects on the real estate market. The biggest battle is conveying the most accurate information. Social media and general misinformation can spread improper details about the situation. Red Tide is influenced by wind and currents and daily changes occur.
The impact on the vacation rentals and other tourism related businesses like island restaurants, shops and water sport activities has been immediate. Rental owners and management companies are using their discretion regarding their guest reservations.

Daily Updates

Team Duncan offers daily updates on our beach conditions. One of our team members is checking the beaches in the morning for the most accurate report.
Additional information regarding the beach conditions can be found on various sites.

Manatee Beach Report:

August 27, 2018 Report

If you like to talk to a Team Duncan member about the latest update please call us at 941 705 3344 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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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.

 

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Summer hits Anna Maria Island!

With 90 plus degree weather the summer is in full swing on Anna Maria Island with locals and vacationers hitting the beach. Here are some beach tips so everybody stays safe and has a blast.

Beach flag warning system

Before swimming check out the beach flags on the county beaches on the island to learn about the water conditions. Florida has a uniform beach flag system that uses 4 colors to inform beachgoers. Life guards are monitoring the conditions throughout the day and will communicate with the firefighters in the two Manatee County firefighters that also display the flags.
Red – Swim with extreme caution due to strong currents or rough surf
Yellow – Swim with caution due to strong currents or rough surf
Green – Swimming allowed, calm conditions
Purple – Presence of marine pests such as jellyfish, sharks, stingrays or red tide

The Double Red flag indicates that the water closed to the public.

Also, don’t forget the “stingray shuffle” to avoid the unpleasant experience of getting stung by the sharp tail of a stingray. They tend to hide in the shallow water close to the waterline. If you shuffle the sand while entering they will quickly disappear.

 

Florida Sun

Don’t underestimate the UV rays even on a cloudier day. Florida’s sun is extremely strong and sunscreen is a must. Applying high SPF about 20 minutes before you go to the beach is best and don’t forget to reapply. Consider cover ups like hats and other UV protective gear and bring umbrellas or a sun tent. All our Duncan vacation rental guests enjoy a 10% discount at BeachBums, a local beach rental shop. Sun burns are extremely painful and can ruin the rest of the vacation. Also, stay hydrated when enjoying the beach. The heat is intense and can cause a heat stroke. It can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F or higher for example by prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures.

Lightning

The Tampa Bay area is referred to as the “Lightning Capital of the World”. If measured by the average number of days with thunderstorm activity it should be more accurately called the “Lightning Capital of North America”. The safest and most obvious place to be in a thunderstorm is indoors. Also, a car is good place to be because the lightning will travel around the surface of the vehicle and then go to ground. This occurs because the vehicle acts like a Faraday cage. The summer weather pattern pushes clouds from the East to the West and daily afternoon thunderstorms along the Gulf of Mexico coast are the norm. Be prepared and check the radar if you are planning any outdoor activities.

 

Beach Fishing

Did you know? Fishing directly off the beaches on Anna Maria Island requires a saltwater fishing license.  Try the app Fish/Hunt Florida to take care of your license application. The fee is $17 per year. If you like to safe the money and skip the license consider fishing off the piers on the island that are covered by a blanket license. Also, anyone under 16 or people eligible for food stamps, temporary cash assistance or medicaid are exempt. Florida residents over 65 don’t need a license either.  Another fun experience is coming up with Florida Lobster season by the end of July. Some of the critters make their way all the way up to this area but the Keys are the best known for their rock lobsters. There is a separate license for lobstering.

If you need any other information while on the island don’t hesitate to contact the Duncan Real Estate Rental team. Please call at 941 779 0304 or 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.