ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It's that time of year again.

Hurricane season kicks off June 1 and forecasters are predicting a busy storm season.

That means from supply kits and home insurance to storm tracking and power outages, it's time for Bay area residents to keep an eye on the tropics.

What You Need To Know

On this edition of To The Point Already, Bay News 9 anchors Rick Elmhorst and Roy DeJesus talk with Chief Meteorologist Mike Clay about storm season, hurricane preparedness and what to be aware for the next several months.

"All of the parameters that we look at are pointing to an active season," said Clay, who has been covering hurricanes at Bay News 9 since the station's inception in 1997. "And that doesn't mean you're going to be hit. Because you could have 20 storms and none of them hit you.

"(But) if you look at everything (that is setting up), these are the type of seasons we have and they're usually pretty active."

All of the Sunshine State is a potential target for tropical systems, but not every region gets hit equally.

South Florida's geography, for example -- a peninsula jutting into the nexus of the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf -- raises its chances of absorbing a devastating landfall.

But come late August to October, Tampa Bay and the rest of the Gulf Coast tends to find themselves in the crosshairs.

And when a tropical system forms, Spectrum Bay News 9 Weather Experts leverage their combined decades of experience and critical information from the National Hurricane Center to forecast storm tracks and development.

"We try to be your calm in the storm," Clay said. "All of our meteorologists have been here a long time and we've seen all this happen."


Spectrum Bay News 9 anchor Rick Elmhorst sits down with the people that represent you, the people fighting for change and the people with fascinating stories to ask the hard questions.

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