First Alert Weather In-Depth: City of Tampa and Hurricanes

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It has been a very slow start to the tropical storm and hurricane season. But now the pace is picking-up very quickly. The number of named storms this season is now up to nine, with more of these storms likely to come this year. 

Statistics show that it is not often, that a hurricane or a major hurricane, has affected the Tampa area. On average, it has is a ten years average for a basic hurricane, but if you compare average numbers of years for a major hurricane (winds of 110 mph), it closer to 33 years since that type of storm has affected this particular city. There have been a few storms of note, such as the 2004 tropical storm season.  But many of those hurricanes came in along the east coast before reaching Tampa.  That is important because many hurricanes lose much of their energy before reaching Tampa. However, there is one storm of note named Hurricane Charley. That hurricane took a similar path right across Cuba and, similar to what is expect of Ian, it came very close to the city of Tampa.

So what is the most significant change over the years in the Tampa area? It is change in population growth. If you go back to 1970, Tampa had close to one million people in the greater Tampa area. Today it is now up to three million people. That means that in 52 years the population of Tampa has tripled.  I can tell you that high density population areas and hurricanes do not mix very well.  Just ask the folks in New Orleans.