Nearing the end of hurricane season
By Elsa Maxey
What began the first day of June will soon end on November 30. Hurricane season, when most tropical storms develop and turn into menacing cyclones, has been a dud to date in the local geographic area this year, and so many will agree, “that’s a good thing,” especially after the hurricane Ike mess that hit here four years ago.
But continue to keep a close eye, advise weather forecasters and emergency management centers.
Instead, during this period what has been menacing this area have been those pesky mosquitoes. This time referred to as the “skeetos,” because calling them bad “skeeters” may offend some. After all, during the Sugar Land Skeeters’ first year of play, there have been game wins of all kinds including former Astros great Roger Clemens joining the team, and then the duo play with his son Koby catching for dad. That caused quite a hurricane of excitement locally and elsewhere, especially when the games ended up on ESPN.
As good as the Skeeters were this season, the “skeetos” were not. The Fort Bend County Health & Human Services confirmed 12 cases of West Nile virus just the other day, but still no deaths in Fort Bend County due to the illness. The latest confirmed victim was a female from the Richmond area. The count in various age groups shows that 5 cases are from Katy, 3 each from Sugar Land and Richmond, and one is from Rosenberg.
Cities in Fort Bend announced spraying and other preventive measures as the West Nile virus outbreak continued. Sugar Land reports that during mosquito season, the city gets weekly sprayings on Friday evenings at about 9 p.m.
According to academic sources, mosquitoes may seem to disappear during cold weather, but the insects are cold blooded. That means that in winter they can hibernate, but if they mated before that, as soon as the warm weather sets in, the eggs will hatch. “In the warm and humid climates of the Southeast and Gulf Coast, mosquitoes can thrive year round,” according to information by the National Biological Infrastructure, U.S. Geological Survey.
Will winter bring an end to West Nile carrying mosquitoes? Not really since sometimes warm weather and humid conditions persist. But, winter in this area mean it’s no longer hurricane season!