Hurricanes are a common occurrence in Florida. Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends officially on November 30 every year. Sarasota is a vulnerable city located in the South of Tampa Bay, bordering the Gulf of Mexico, Manatee River, Little Sarasota Bay, and inter-coastal waterways. Statistics show that Sarasota has been affected directly or indirectly 36 times in the last 146 years including the Storm Emily and Hurricane Irma of 2017.

Some of the popular storms that hit Sarasota in the past few years include Donna, Judith, Charley, and Barry. In August 2004, Hurricane Charley was close to the western Sarasota County. A wind recorded to be about 145mph hit Punta Gorda which is just 40 miles away from the south. In 2007 also, A Tropical Storm Barry passed on the west of Sarasota with winds at about 40mph.

How often is Sarasota prone to Hurricanes?

Sarasota is located in a vulnerable part of Florida. Although the major parts of this city are not always affected, some parts of Sarasota are often touched during storms. Theoretically, Hurricane Sarasota usually occurs every 4 – 5 years. However, the tropical storm that affects the entire vicinity occurs every 23 – 24 years.

Sarasota Florida Hurricane damage of 2012

After the 2007 Hurricane Charley, Sarasota also suffered from the Tropical Storm Derby which occurred on June 23, 2012. Derby caused extensive flooding in North and Central Florida during this period. This fourth tropical cyclone developed from a trough of low pressure in the central Gulf of Mexico.

Sarasota Florida Hurricane damage of 2017

The 2017 Hurricane season brought two different storms to Sarasota. These are the Tropical Storm Emily and Hurricane Irma. The Tropical Storm Emily strikes the residents in the middle of the night and hit Anna islands in the morning of July 31, 2017. Emily didn’t hinder the residents from going to the beach. However, it allows the officials and residents to test-run their storm preparations.

One month later, the news of Hurricane Irma reach the people of Sarasota, leaving them with few weeks of preparation. Forecasters predicted Sarasota Florida Hurricane damage from a Category 4 storm with a storm surge of about 10 feet and winds of about 150mph. However, Irma erupted in the night of September 10 as a category 2 storm.

The Sarasota Florida Hurricane damage was not as widespread as anticipated. Power outage lasted for some days and many trees fell on homes and offices. Debris and damage cleanup reportedly cost $8.2 million while there was no significant infrastructure or property damage. Read about the biggest hurricanes in history

Safety precautions against the Tropical storm

Before a hurricane will occur in Sarasota, you will be aware of an impending storm far enough in advance. This will enable you to install your hurricane shutters and other preventive structures. This information will be communicated by the authorities via radio TV and the internet. If you find your home or business in a flood area, the best practice is to quit temporarily and seek alternative shelter in flood-free areas.

There are several churches, schools, and mosques that offer temporal shelter for people in the flood zone. In fact, some of these places are pet-friendly. However, make sure you inquire ahead before you arrive with your pets.

Driving in Sarasota

Some residents of Sarasota prefer to stay in their home during an intense storm and ride out the storm. As much as this is not recommended, you should prepare an interior room with your hurricane kit if you plan to do so.  When driving also, take note of evacuation route signs. Of course, preparedness is the key to safety during Hurricane Sarasota.

Have you ever imagined how storm or wind could be so destructive as to cause death, loss of that very beautiful tree or flower which protects you from the rays of the sun, loss of your home, your school and even that pet uncle Joe got you on your seventh birthday?

how do hurricanes form

This is definitely not the usual wind or storm you see every day. This is the kind of wind which can separate you from all you have ever loved; it is a really unique kind of storm.

They are fierce, violent, and deadly and can leave you and your beautiful family homeless. They are known as hurricane and tornadoes.

When  they occur, houses are pulled out of its foundation and slid from one point to another, roofs  break off, buildings collapse, people are trapped under  objects and cannot save themselves, cars become hidden underwater, trees are uprooted, cars tumble, animals are lost, windows and doors are broken, they are highly destructive and the aftermath is economic loss.

No one ever dreams of experiencing such a dangerous event in his/her lifetime, because there is absolutely nothing funny about these two.

One very interesting thing to know about these two natural destructive agents is that they can be forecasted even before they occur, this is done through technology, and you can be warned to move from a location where it is likely to occur to a safer location where it is less severe or serious.

So this leaves you with an option to run, hide and take cover away from its destroying effects since you cannot control its effect on the environment once it hits. Let us look at hurricane vs tornadoes comparison

Hurricanes and tornadoes share similar features in that they are both destructive winds that occur when the atmosphere becomes unstable, which is followed by rain, thunder and lightning which moves in a rotating form. Note that they also differ in size and formation.

Hurricanes Vs Tornado Comparison For Kids

Firstly, hurricanes are usually larger in size than tornadoes.

Secondly, hurricanes occur over the ocean, while tornadoes usually occur over land.

Thirdly, hurricanes cover a wide area of destruction while tornadoes, on the other hand, cover a narrow path of destruction.

Fourthly, hurricanes can last up to three weeks while tornadoes can last for just an hour but trust me they can as well be as deadly as a hurricane which lasts even longer, and the damages it causes destroys nutrients in the soil and vegetation.

One may wonder, what could be the cause of these two deadly events which can go as far as lifting a very heavy large truck from its position, uprooting buildings from its foundation and destroying our favorite car? When and why does it ever occur? Can it be prevented?

Hurricanes which are also called typhoons occur when warm air is replaced by cooler air. At the center of a hurricane is an eye which usually has low air pressure it can become very tall and can reach up high into the sky.

Tornadoes too are called twisters and has a shape like a tunnel, it is formed as a result of the presence of warm and moist conditions in the lower atmosphere and cold and dry conditions in the upper atmosphere, as a result, the cold air starts sinking and warm air starts rising when the number of warm increases, it becomes stronger and can clear anything that it comes across.

One lesson you must learn from this is that ensure you always watch the news to know when a hurricane or tornado is possibly going to occur, so u can be prepared, gather your toys and secure them so they don’t get blown away, it is a monster and is not a friend to anyone, not even little children.



Nelson, ken (2018). Earth science for kids: weather -hurricanes (tropical cyclones) Ducksters.

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Hurricane Meaning, Causes and Effect

Hurricane Categories and Their Meaning

Hurricane Safety Tips

Hurricane Meaning

Hurricanes are also known as cyclones and typhoons. They are gigantic storms that occur in the tropical seas of the world. This means that they can only occur at the tropical areas, such as the South Atlantic Ocean, Eastern Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.

Causes of Hurricanes

The key ingredients to the formation of tropical cyclones are warm water, upper-level winds, and moist warm air. Hurricanes are initiated when the warm, moist air from the surface of oceans begins to rise rapidly and collide with the mass of cooler air. This collision prompts the warm vapor to condense, transform into storm clouds, and returning as rain. Latent heat is evolved during this rainfall (condensation) process which warms the cool air above. This causes the cool air to rise and create the way for warmer, humid air from the ocean to rise.

how hurricanes form

As this cycle continues, warmer, moist air is getting involved in the mounting storm and more heat is transferred from the ocean surface to the atmosphere. The continuous exchange of heat develops a wind-like pattern that spins around.

This storm will continue as long as the condition remains the same and there is enough fuel to keep the storm going. The rotating storm will become more powerful and eventually become a hurricane. The hurricane continues to gather strength and momentum, an opening is formed at the center, known as the “eye”.

Consequently, the eye becomes the core center of the storm and the strongest wind occurs near the eye. This means that the wind gets stronger as you move closer to the eye. The area surrounding the eye is called the eyewall. A fully developed tropical storm can reach a speed of 200miles per hour. The speed of a hurricane is the major factor of classifying hurricanes into categories.

Eventually, if the tropical cyclone loses energy, which means that it has reached the cooler waters at the shores, they start to become wean and die off.

Stages of tropical cyclone

  1. Tropical depression: Wind speeds below 38 mph or 61.15 kph
  2. Tropical Storm: Winds speeds ranging from 39 mph to 73 mph or 62.76 kph to 117.48 kph
  3. Hurricane: Winds speed over 74 mph or 119.09 kph

Effects of hurricane

Storm surge and tidal flooding

Storm surge is a notable and the most devastating effect of hurricanes. Storm surge is the rising of the wall of water from the ashore together with the land-falling hurricane and is responsible for about 90% of all deaths during a hurricane.

High Winds

This is an obvious feature of a hurricane. It determines the category of and how strong a hurricane is and how much damage the storm can cause. There are 5 categories of hurricanes according to their speed.


Probably, this is a rare event during hurricanes. Tornadoes occur during hurricanes due to the immense energy and instability initiated when a hurricane causes landfall. Notable, tornadoes formed during hurricanes are minimal in strength.

Heavy rain and flooding

Heavy rainfall is also an important effect of hurricanes. The rainfall from hurricanes is tremendous enough to make a major impact, such as a flood.


You may also read about: Hurricane Safety Facts and Hurricane Categories