When the 2012 North Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1, the U.S. will have gone a record 2,412 days since the last major hurricane — with sustained winds of 111 mph or greater — struck these shores.
Doomsters are a weird bunch, aren’t they? Rather than being glad we’ve had a good run weather-wise it’s all “it’ll be worse when it gets worse!”
The last storm to strike with such fury was Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall in Southwest Florida in October 2005.
Will our luck run out this year? If it does, it’s not likely to be pretty. After all, a lot has changed since 2005. For one thing, there are now more people, with more property, living and working in vulnerable coastal areas than there were seven years ago. The population of Florida alone grew by 17 percent between 2000 and 2010, with about a million people added since 2005, according to U.S. Census data. And the U.S. economy is also a lot shakier, and less capable of absorbing the shock from a devastating natural disaster.