2007 Florida Weather Highlights
Here are all the historical details of severe weather storms and hurricanes throughout 2007. See the sidebar (top right) for details of 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.
Already in 2007 there have been 2 category 5 hurricanes to hit land, the first time this has happened since records began.
Hurricane predictions for 2007
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) put out their first predictions in May of each year and this year they predicted 13 to 17 named storms, with seven to 10 becoming hurricanes, of which three to five could become major hurricanes (Category 3 higher). They are also saying that there is a 75% chance of 2007 being above average in terms of number of hurricanes.
In August they revised their forecast down slightly to 13 to 16 named storms and seven to nine hurricanes but they have not reduced their forecast of major hurricanes.
The Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University issued their second forecast prediction for the 2007 hurricane season, in April and were predicting 17 named storms of which 9 will develop into hurricanes and of those 9, 5 will become major hurricanes.
Early predictions were put at 14 named storms of which 7 would become hurricanes and 3 would develop into major hurricanes.
They also issued an updated forecast in August and like NOAA, reduced the figures to 15 named storms of which eight will become hurricanes, four of them intense. In September they lowered the number of hurricanes to 7.
They have also announced predictions for the probabilities of a major hurricane making landfall as follows - 74% chance on the entire US coastline, 50% for the east coast of Florida, 49% chance for the Gulf Coast of Florida and above average chances for the Caribbean region.
Storm names for 2007
The names for tropical storms and hurricanes in 2007 are as follows; Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dean, Erin, Felix, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Noel, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy.
Tropical Storm Olga
Wednesday, December 12: Tropical Storm Olga formed near the Virgin islands on Monday after the official end of the hurricane season. Olga tracked westwards along the northern coast of Puerto Rico with winds speeds of 45 mph. It has continued westwards passed the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is expected to pass between Jamaica and Cuba but is not likely to strengthen.
Saturday, November 3: Hurricane Noel has turned into the most deadly storm of the 2007 hurricane whilst tracking through the Caribbean. Having turned as it passed the Bahamas, it is currently moving northeasterly up the Atlantic coastline resulting in very strong tides and considerable beach erosion, particularly in South Florida.
Torrential rain over Cuba, Hispaniola, Haiti and the Dominican Republic caused severe flooding and landslides leaving over 120 people dead.
Tropical Storm Melissa
Tuesday, October 2: Tropical Depression Melissa formed in the eastern Atlantic on Friday, 260 miles west southwest of the Cape Verde Islands and briefly became a tropical storm with wind speeds of around 40 mph on a west north westerly track before reverting back to a tropical depression. It is expected to weaken further and poses no threat at this time.
Friday, September 28: Hurricane Lorenzo formed rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday and reached Hurricane category 1 status with wind speeds of 80 mph shortly before hitting the Mexican coastline north of Veracruz. In places there was over 13 inches of rain in 24 hours and at least 5 people are feared dead.
Tropical Storm Karen
Tuesday, September 25: Tropical Storm Karen is about 1,000 miles east of the Cape Verde Islands and is currently tracking westwards with wind speeds of around 40 mph. It is expected to strengthen but veer towards the north away from landfall.
Tropical Storm Jerry
Tuesday, September 25: Tropical Storm Jerry formed on Sunday, well out in the North Atlantic with speeds of around 40 mph but tracking north east away from land and posed no threat.
Friday, September 21: Following a suspected tornado touchdown in Lake County, 30 miles northwest of Orlando, a tropical storm warning was issued for the Northwest Florida Gulf coast from Apalachicola to the mouth of the Mississippi River, including New Orleans, Louisiana. In fact, Louisiana declared a state of emergency and oil rigs in the Gulf were evacuated.
Tropical Storm Ingrid
Saturday, September 15: Tropical Storm Ingrid formed on Thursday and started tracking northwest with wind speeds of 35 mph towards the the Leeward Islands but it weakened back into a Tropical Depression.
Thursday, September 13: Hurricane Humberto formed rapidly in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday. It hit the Texas coast between Galveston and Port Arthur as a category 1 hurricane with wind speeds of around 80 mph. Once over land it started to lose strength as it veered towards the north east over Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Tropical Storm Gabrielle
Sunday, September 9: Tropical Storm Gabrielle formed about 500 miles off the Carolina coastline and is expected to hit the North Carolina coastline today with wind speeds of around 40 to 50 mph, 2 to 4 inches of rain and an increase in surf and rip currents along the coast.
Wednesday, September 5: The second hurricane of the season, Hurricane Felix has hit the north eastern coast of Nicaragua and it is feared over 100 people have lost their lives. At the time it was a category 5 but it weakened to category 3 as it continued westwards overland. It then weakened further down to tropical depression status as it moved across Honduras. Earlier in the week it had tracked westwards in the southern Caribbean and had already passed just north of Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles.
Tropical Storm Erin
Thursday, August 16: A second tropical storm formed, Tropical Storm Erin, this time in the Gulf of Mexico. It moved northwest towards the southeastern Texas Coast with wind speeds of up to 40 mph but as it hit the coast near Lamar, Texas on Thursday it weakened to tropical depression status.
Thursday, August 23: Hurricane Dean hit land for the last time when it crossed Mexico's Veracruz coastline, having weakened to category 2, continuing on a westerly track. On Tuesday it had hit the Yucatan Peninsula just northeast of Chetumal as a category 5 hurricane with wind speeds of 165 mph and gusts of over 185 mph. It quickly weakened to a category 1 storm once overland but strengthened a little once over open water again.
Earlier it passed the Lesser Antilles, Martinique, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands causing significant structural damage and heavy rainfall caused landslides and flooding. The death toll stands around 28.
The first hurricane of the 2007 season started as a tropical depression in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, some 1,500 miles from the Lesser Antilles. It quickly intensified to become Tropical Storm Dean before becoming a category 1 hurricane. It continued to strengthen and reached major hurricane status, category 5, the highest on the scale.
Tropical Storm Chantal
Tuesday, July 31: The third named tropical system of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season, Tropical Storm Chantal has formed in the western Atlantic but is heading north-northeast away from the US mainland. It is expected to strengthen from its current wind speed of 50mph but will not be a threat to the US coastline.
Tropical Storm Barry
Friday, June 1: On the first day of the hurricane season, Tropical Storm Barry formed in the Gulf of Mexico with wind speeds of 45 mph. It is heading northeast and is expected to make landfall on the northern Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday.
Subtropical Storm Andrea
Friday, May 11: Ahead of the official start of the hurricane season, Subtropical Storm Andrea, formed on Sunday. Having drifted westward to around 100 miles east of Cape Canaveral, it has slowed down and may turn southeast with wind speeds of 35 mph. It may yet strengthen.
Andrea is not expected to develop any further but a tropical storm watch was posted from Altamaha Sound, Georgia to Flagler Beach, Florida and 8 to 12 foot waves are expected Carolina coastlines but only between 1 and 5 feet along the Georgia/Florida coastlines.
Unlike a tropical storm, a subtropical storm has a cold core and is not a tightly wrapped weather system.
Friday, February 2: During the early hours of the morning, severe thunderstorms, accompanied by three tornadoes swept across Central Florida north of Orlando leaving a trail of death and destruction.
Lake, Sumter and Volusia Counties bore the brunt of the storms and 21 people died in the towns of Lade Lake and Paisley in Lake County. Many of those who died were living in mobile (park) homes but even the Lady Lake Church of God which was built to withstand 150 mph winds was destroyed.
Governor Charlie Crist declared a State of Emergency in the affected counties.
Last year NOAA originally 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 August they downgraded their forecast to the number of tropical storms being 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.