At the Orange County Hurricane Expo Saturday morning at the Renaissance Senior Center at South Econ Community Park, WFTV Chief Meteorologist Tom Terry gave his prediction for this year’s hurricane season: at least a dozen named storms, with one predicted to hit Monday.

The storm, which will be called ‘Colin’ if it develops enough, could hit the Central Florida area early next week, Terry said.

“We’re off to a busy start,” Terry said, citing the numerous storms they predicted could hit the area this summer – but he said it “only takes one storm” to do serious damage.

Terry said in the 11 years since hurricanes hit Central Florida last, many things have changed, chief among them the advanced technology.

“Those little analog TVs we used for emergencies don’t work anymore,” he said. “But we have more technology now like Facebook and Twitter, which are good for spreading the word more quickly in emergencies. You can log into Facebook or Twitter and get information much faster than in 2005.”

Speaking before a crowd at the Expo, Terry said there were several other new technologies that could benefit people in terms of hurricane awareness. He mentioned a five-day forecast tracker from the National Hurricane Center, a drone that can fly overhead and help with hurricane reconnaissance in the event of a large amount of damage, and a storm surge flooding map.

Storm surge and flooding, Terry said, is the cause of more deaths than heavy wind.

A news release from Gov. Rick Scott‘s office also warms of a tropical storm coming early next week.

“We are closely monitoring this tropical system and its potential impacts on Florida’s Gulf Coast,” Scott said. “Our most important goal is to protect our families, visitors and communities, and we will take every action to make sure our state is prepared for this weather event.”

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon said it was uncertain if the storm would develop enough to be a named tropical storm, but it was expected to be fast moving and potentially harmful.

Some of the potential damage listed in the news release include the following: up to five inches of rainfall across Central and south Florida, with up to eight to ten inches along the I-4 corridor, severe thunderstorms across north Florida, and increased wave heights along the Gulf Coast Monday and Tuesday and the Atlantic Coast on Wednesday, which could elevate the risk of rip currents and minor coastal erosion.

At the Hurricane Expo, Orange County Fire Rescue Manager Ron Plummer said the most important thing people could do was stay informed and be prepared in the case of storms.

“After 10-12 years of not having storms, everybody just kinda forgets,” he said. “They look at last year and say, it didn’t happen then, it might not happen now. What we try to do is make sure people are prepared, that they understand that a storm can happen. They should have a plan in place, have a disaster kit, and keep themselves informed by listening to the media.”

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