Yo, Adrian! ....Errr, Arlene?

We're still a week or so away from the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season, but we have a little tropical action already. Seems there's a (minimal)Pacific hurricane that just slammed into the west coast of El Salvador and is crossing northeast into the Caribbean, destination: Cuba. Of course, the mountains of central America will rip away most of the storm's power as it crosses them, leaving it at most a weak tropical storm when it reaches the Caribbean. By the time it hits Cuba, it will be just a tropical depression. It's not supposed to affect Florida at all.

I've heard that if it still has tropical storm strength winds when it comes out into the Caribbean, then it will turn into Tropical Storm Arlene, which is the first name for Atlantic tropical storms this year. While it would be an early storm, it wouldn't be unprecedented. In 2003, Tropical Storm Ana popped up in late April.

We don't have to worry about really major storms for a couple of months yet, since it takes a while for the waters of the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico to warm up. The warm water is the fuel that runs the storm's engine, which is why the big storms don't usually occur until August and September. We will, of course, be making our preparations. Here in Florida, there's going to be a period of a couple of weeks at the beginning of June during which a certain amount of hurricane supplies purchases will be tax-free. Like all Floridians, I'm hoping that we won't see anywhere near as much hurricane action as we saw last year.