Does Clermont Florida get hurricanes?
Clermont, Florida is an ideal location for those looking for safety from hurricanes. Located northwest of Orlando in Lake County, Clermont has an amazing track record when it comes to being mostly undisturbed by the threat of hurricanes.
Clermont’s excellent location, limited exposure to major hurricanes over the years, high elevation, distance from the ocean, and other beneficial factors have contributed to its reputation as one of the safest cities in Florida from hurricanes.
Does Clermont Florida get hurricanes?
Yes, Clermont has experienced hurricanes since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) began tracking hurricane data nearly 100 years ago. However, as you’ll see below, Clermont has not only experienced few hurricanes compared to other cities in Florida, but also hurricanes of less severity and damage.
Clermont has experienced 37 known hurricanes. We included all hurricane levels (1-5) from the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The higher the number, the more dangerous the hurricane (1=Lowest winds/5=highest winds).
The image below depicts all of the hurricanes paths which traveled through Clermont, Florida. This would count hurricane bands that impacted Clermont via wind and rain.
- Purple line – Category 5
- Pink line – Category 4
- Red line – Category 3
- Orange line – Category 2
- Yellow line – Category 1
- Green line – Tropical storm
Notice that the large majority of hurricanes through Clermont are category 1 or tropical storms by the time they reach our city. Most of the high-wind activity happens along the coast or in the ocean.
When there are high wind hurricanes approaching Clermont east or west traveling, they get weaker as they get closer. This is an important fact we will discuss below.
How many dangerous hurricanes has Clermont Florida had?
Clermont has had zero impactful hurricanes over the last 100 years. However, let’s zoom on the map a bit and focus only on Clermont to get the whole picture.
The image below shows data pulled from the NOAA which tracks each U.S. city’s historical hurricane data. We pulled all the data for the last 100 years and found that Clermont, FL has only experienced three direct hurricanes.
- Unnamed Hurricane (1921) – Category 1
- Hurricane Easy (1950) – Tropical Storm
- Hurricane Charley (2004) – Category 1
These three storms are the ones that traveled over Clermont, Florida during its journey from the ocean. This data indicates that Clermont has experienced three major storms and all three would be considered statistically safe by storm damage indicators.
If we zoom out a bit, you’ll notice that being located in Central Florida has huge implications for your home’s safety in a storm. Over the last 100 years, the majority of the storms which are considered “significant” begin as high wind hurricanes in the ocean and dissipate significantly as they travel over land.
Notice the red (category 3) and pink (category 4), and purple (category 5) hurricanes slow down drastically when they approach the Orlando area. You’ll notice in the center of the state is a lot of tropical storm (green line) and category 1 storms (yellow line). Woo hoo!
This is great news for people who own a home in Clermont as they will see statistically less strong-wind hurricanes around the Orlando area. In fact, hurricane bands reached our home in Clermont (not direct) and we document the entire experience below.
Hurricanes have to travel 75 to 100 miles over land before they ever reach Clermont–and that makes a huge difference. We’ll discuss this concept later.
Is Clermont a safe location for experiencing hurricanes?
Clermont is a very safe when it comes to experiencing hurricanes. Not only does the data above prove it statistically, but the location of Clermont provides unique advantages.
Four reasons Clermont, FL offers protection from hurricanes
- Central location – Clermont is at least 75 miles from the nearest ocean. With hurricanes starting in the ocean, this gives Clermont a safe distance for the hurricane to decrease its category rating on approach. Hurricanes initially depend on evaporating water from the ocean. When a hurricane makes landfall, it is separated from its warm water energy source, and so the hurricane begins to dissapate.
- Elevation – Clermont is between 300 and 390 feet above sea level in many areas. Compare that with Tampa (48 feet), Miami (6 feet), and even nearby Orlando (82 feet) and you’ll see just how different Clermont’s elevation is. Most experts would agree, the higher the better when it comes to flooding.
- Swamp – Clermont is home to many swamp areas which act as a reservoir to collect excess water from storms. For example, the Green Swamp which reaches Clermont from Tampa, in its entirety, comprises more than 560,000 acres located in the swamps. The Green Swamp is an enormous assistance for Clermont flooding during storms.
- Emergency Operations Center – While there hasn’t been a major storm impact Clermont in over 100 years, Clermont is more than ready. During emergency situations, such as the threat of a hurricane, the aftermath of a tornado with widespread damage, terrorist attack, or pandemic event, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will activate. The EOC brings together key agencies in one room to facilitate sheltering of evacuees, search and rescue, law enforcement, debris removal, and other essential functions.
Do I need to worry about hurricanes while living in Clermont?
One should always be vigilant when living in a southern city, especially one near the gulf coast. Hurricanes are a fact of life here and it’s important to prepare yourself for an emergency.
We tell our clients that this risk is much like a tornado risk in the Midwest, wildfire and earthquake in the Western United States, and extreme cold in the North. No city is immune from natural disasters, but Clermont’s core risk (hurricanes) has not materialized into meaningful damage.
A few tips to prepare for Florida Hurricanes
First and foremost, create an emergency kit with things like flashlights, bottled water, batteries, food that won’t spoil and any medications that your family might need. This will ensure you have the basics to survive if power is lost or access to stores is limited. A generator is an amazing investment for any Florida resident.
Second, learn about evacuation routes ahead of time and determine what shelters are located near your home in case you have to evacuate. Have an emergency plan as well with contact information for family members out of state who can provide assistance if needed.
Third, you will also want to make sure that all windows and doors are secured as much as possible, checking window seals, clearing your gutters, and removing valuables from interior floors.
Finally, make sure all your outdoor items such as patio furniture and grills are secured before the storm hits. Outdoor items can become projectiles for your home, neighbors, and rescue workers.
Do I need to worry about flooding while living in Clermont?
With Clermont’s 300+ feet of elevation, flooding doesn’t occur very often. However, not every home is 100% completely safe from flooding.
It’s important to have a good real estate and inspection team on your side before buying home. It’s important to understand slopes, elevation, and water drainage resources for specific communities.
Most homes built in Clermont have a strict code for water retention and release and home builders have done an excellent job protecting homes.
For example, according to riskfactor.com, Clermont has a flood-factor risk of 1/10. This is the lowest risk a city can have.
Statistically, 95% of homeowners are safe from flooding in Clermont, FL. Of the more than 13,000 homes, only 648 have some potential risk. Keep in mind, these homes are most often located on a pond, near a water reservoir, or low-lying near a lake.
Frequently Asked Hurricane Questions
What is the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale?
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is an important tool for understanding and evaluating the severity of a hurricane. It categorizes hurricanes into five categories according to the intensity of their winds, helping to inform people about the potential dangers associated with each hurricane.
The scale consists of five categories, ranging from 1-5. Category 1 is the weakest with winds ranging from 74-95 mph. This category includes minimal damage to homes as far as roofs and windows are concerned, but can cause some property damage and flooding nonetheless.
Category 2 has winds from 96-110 mph which can cause considerable roof damage and loss of exterior doors and windows. Trees can be uprooted, mobile homes may be destroyed, power lines may be affected, major coastal flooding will occur in this category.
Category 3 hurricanes have winds of 111-130 mph which can cause even more destruction including the tearing off of roofs, structural damage to small buildings or dwellings, massive waves that bring severe coastal flooding that destroys low lying areas near shorelines and rivers.
Category 4 hurricanes have winds of 131-155 mph, this category can cause a lot of damage including the tearing off of roofs and structural damage to small buildings or dwellings, mobile homes will be destroyed, power outages will occur.
Lastly, category 5 hurricanes have winds of 156 mph and more, this category can cause devastating damage including the tearing off of roofs and structural damage to small buildings or dwellings, mobile homes will be destroyed, power outages will occur.
Why do hurricanes weaken over land?
Hurricanes typically weaken as they reach land because they’re no longer being fed by the energy of the warm waters in which they were nourished by. However, they often move far inland, dumping many inches of rain and causing lots of wind damage before they die out entirely.
The drying of moisture, as well as the loss of heat and water vapor, weakens the outflow of rainstorms near the storm center. The absence of thunderstorms or vertical convection will dampen the frontal eye of the storm, and as the frontal eye fills up, the storm will weaken and start dissipating.
Why is Clermont, FL elevated?
Clermont, Florida is an elevated city located on the highest hill in the Lake County ridge. It sits at an elevation of around 393 feet above sea level, with views that stretch out across miles of rolling hills and lush greenery.
The reasons why Clermont is so elevated are its unique geological features, which formed during ancient times when the water levels were much higher than they are today.
The hills surrounding Clermont were created by sandstone deposits left behind by rivers and streams flowing through the region over two million years ago. As these waters receded, they left ridges along their path that eventually became great mountain ranges and plateaus.
While there are no mountain ranges remaining today, Clermont still benefits from elevated positioning–home to 5th, 6th, and 7th highest points in Florida.