Florida has a reputation for being a hurricane magnet, with tropical storm after tropical storm pounding the Sunshine State every year. But is Florida really the capital of hurricane strikes? Close, but the title goes elsewhere.
According to statistics from Florida home insurers, more than 41% of the hurricane that have hit the United States since 1851 have struck Florida. That makes Florida to most likely target in the country. Why the year 1851? That’s the year the Saffir/Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale – the one that ranks storms on their maximum sustained wind speeds – was adopted.
Second place goes to Texas, followed by North Carolina, Louisiana and South Carolina.
Why Do Hurricanes Hit Florida?
Florida is a target for hurricanes for several reasons. According to researchers at the University of South Florida in Tampa, the state’s location near the Equator has a lot to do with it, placing Florida in the path of weather that is launched from the westerly winds along the African coast.
Add to that Florida’s unique geography – the state has the second-longest coastline in the country, second only to Alaska. The peninsula just sticks itself right into the middle of the warmest waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean and nearby Caribbean Sea.
The southern parts of the state along with the panhandle are the areas most often hit. The coastal regions of Tampa Bay and Jacksonville are among the areas usually spared. Miami has often been named the city most vulnerable to hurricanes.
The Bahamas are the Real Capital of Hurricanes
All the same reasons that make Florida a target for extreme storms are amplified with it comes the islands of the Bahamas. In fact, the islands of Abaco are generally cited as the “hurricane capital of the world.”
The Abaco islands are in the Bahamas’ northern area. Most of the islands are uninhabited but Abaco’s Marsh Harbour is the third largest city in the Bahamas.
The string of islands has suffered through at least 17 hurricanes since 2000.
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