TAMPA — The statistical peak of hurricane season came and went this week and, just like it’s done for the last 92 years, Tampa dodged a direct hit from a major storm.
Some scientists attribute the remarkably low frequency of hurricane strikes to blind luck. Others credit Tampa’s location on the Central Gulf Coast as the main factor why devastating storms seem to skirt by.
Whatever the reason, maps from the National Hurricane Center showing where hurricanes have made landfall in the past 60 years reveal a striking pattern: while long stretches of South Florida and the Gulf Coast are dotted with stricken areas, the Tampa area remains virtually unblemished.
“Looking back on the frequency of hurricanes in the last 150 years, Tampa has been extremely lucky,” said William H. Gray, founder of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University.