2006 Florida Weather Highlights
Here are all the historical details of severe weather storms and hurricanes throughout 2006. See the sidebar (top right) for historial information for other years.
Weather forecasters are saying that we can expect more active hurricane seasons for at least the next ten years so there is no reason to suggest that the next few years will be significantly quieter than 2005.
Hurricane predictions for 2006
In May 2006, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that there would be between 13 and 16 tropical storms during the 2006 season of which 8 to 10 would develop into hurricanes and between 4 and 6 would become major hurricanes.
In their revised August forecast they downgraded the number of tropical storms to between 12 and 15, of which between 7 and 9 were expected to become hurricanes and 3 to 4 of these becoming major hurricanes.
In the end, there were eight storms if you ignore Zeta from the year before of which four became hurricanes.
In 2005, they had predicted up to 21 named storms but in the end there were 27 named storms of which 14 became hurricanes.
Storm names for 2006
The names for tropical storms and hurricanes in 2006 are as follows; Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie and William.
Monday, December 25: Strong winds and heavy rain caused severe damage to parts of the Florida peninsula on Christmas Day with several tornadoes touching down in the state. Hundreds of mobile homes were damaged in DeLand but luckily without loss of life.
Sunday, October 1: Hurricane Isaac formed to the east of Bermuda and quickly became a category 1 hurricane with wind speeds of 80 mph. It is tracking north-northwest and like Helene and Gordon, it not expected to make US landfall.
Wednesday, September 20: Hurricane Helene is the third hurricane in two weeks having turned into a tropical storm last Wednesday. It is currently over 600 miles southeast of Bermuda and is tracking northwest with wind speeds of 105 mph.
It has strengthened to a category 2 hurricane with a possibility of further strengthening. High pressure over Bermuda is expected to turn it north to the east of Bermuda and away from the US mainland.
Friday, September 15: Hurricane Gordon has lost some of its strength (category 2) as it tracks northeast across the Atlantic.
Hurricane Gordon formed on Monday in a similar area of the Atlantic to Hurricane Florence, some 400 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands. Like Florence, Gordon initially headed towards Bermuda and was not forecast to make landfall in the US.
Tuesday, September 12: Hurricane Florence has passed very close to Bermuda today with wind speeds of 90mph. Hurricane Florence remains a category 1 hurricane.
After passing Bermuda, Florence has turned towards the northeast and has started to weaken. It is not expected to make US landfall though the size of Florence could cause dangerous rip currents up the east coast, all the way from Florida northwards.
Friday, September 1: Tropical Depression Ernesto weakened after making landfall for a second time Thursday night near Long Beach, North Carolina.
Ernesto quickly developed into the first hurricane of the season as it formed a week ago and tracked northwest over Cuba and Jamaica with winds of 75 mph before turning north towards the Florida Keys and the Florida Peninsula.
Ernesto was downgraded back to a Tropical Storm on Monday as it passed by Haiti. Visitors to the Florida Keys had already been ordered to leave and a hurricane watch was posted for the Keys.
Flood Watches and Tornado Watches were in effect for the whole of central Florida as Ernesto tracked north through the State, with forecasts of 5 to 10 inches over the Keys and southern and central Florida into Wednesday afternoon.
There were fears that Ernesto would strengthen back to hurricane status before hitting Florida but in the end it remained a Tropical Storm. However, up to nine people are believed to have died in the USA as a result of Ernesto.
Tropical Storm Debby
Sunday, August 27: Tropical Storm Debby has weakened to a Tropical Depression and is expected to weaken further as it moved northwards.
Tropical Storm Debby formed on Tuesday in the Atlantic Ocean, about 500 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands. It moved west-northwest at around 17 mph with wind speeds of around 50 mph and had been expected to strengthen over the next few days, possibly even to hurricane status.
Tropical Storm Chris
Sunday, August 6: Tropical Depression Chris continues to dissipate but will bring some rain to the Florida Keys. It was downgraded from a Tropical Storm to a Tropical Depression as expected on Friday after it started to slow down. At one point, wind speeds had reached 65 mph and it had been expected to reach hurricane status.
It originally formed on Tuesday, east of Antigua with wind speeds of 40 mph and rainfall of 3 to 5 inches and tracked westwards towards Puerto Rico and Cuba and had been expected to continue on towards Southern Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico.
Tropical Storm Beryl
Friday, July 21: Tropical Storm Beryl made landfall on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts after forming off the North Carolina coast on Tuesday and then moving steadily northwards.
Tropical Storm Alberto
Tuesday, June 13: Tropical Storm Alberto made landfall near Keaton Beach in the Florida Panhandle and tracked northeast bringing high winds and heavy rain to parts of eastern Georgia, northern Florida, eastern South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina. There was widespread flooding and around half a dozen small tornadoes in South Carolina but in some areas Alberto was a blessing as it brought much needed rain to combat the brush fires and feed the crops.
Only 12 days in to the start of the hurricane season and Tropical Storm Alberto formed in the Central Gulf of Mexico with wind speeds of around 70 mph, just short of hurricane category status. Hurricane Warnings were issued from Longboat Key near Sarasota to the Ochlockonee River, near Tallahassee but these were later downgraded to Tropical Storm Warnings.
Friday, January 13: Suspected tornadoes struck across Alabama, the Carolinas and Florida injuring a number of children in Baker, Florida and killing a woman in Alabama.
The main Tornado season starts in February.
Tropical Storm Zeta
Saturday, January 7, 2006: Tropical Storm Zeta has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression and is expected to dissipate later today.
Zeta is currently about 900 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands, has a maximum wind speed of 35 mph and is moving slowly westwards.
Zeta, the 27th and last storm of the season 2005, formed last Friday around 1,000 miles south-southwest of the Azores.