Make sure the hurricane tracking planes are gassed up, the weather forecasters have plenty of café Cubano and roll out the snakelike hurricane models.

It’s starting. The TV weathercasters are trying to outdo each other in their annual hurricane ‘scare factor’ forecasting. Do they actually accumulate more viewers if they scare the crap out of us with their dire predictions? Forecasters have plenty of tools to work with such as European tracking models, Canadian models, National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) models, surface analysis, short range, long range and of course the NOAA. We see the possible hurricane paths snaking their way towards us like a hungry python looking for a poodle. Then there’s the ‘cone’.

Are we in the ‘cone’? We don’t want to be in the ‘cone’. That means we may have to ‘take action’. What does that mean? That means you may have to move the potted plants indoors that have taken root since the last time we were ‘in the cone’. OK, take a breath here. They’ve been firmly rooted since the last time south Florida had a dangerous hurricane in 2005. They’re not moving. Good! Like a typical Floridian we can now concentrate on waiting till the last minute to take action.

When do we rush out for the batteries which will die in our drawer from lack of use? It’s been a long time since we’ve had to organize a hurricane party. Do we need the same snacks as a football game? How much beer will we need dull our senses when the garage roof starts to peel away?

Our friend from the west, El Niño has kept the number of hurricanes on the low side and the ones that seem cringe-worthy are suddenly veering north like a driver who sneaks into the exit lane.

When we finally give in to the urge to purchase water, plywood, batteries and tuna fish we’ll have plenty of company in the stores. That’s right, we’re ‘last minute Louies’. It’s the same reason we arrive for the game after it starts and leave before it’s over. Don’t try to change us, don’t try to reason with us, blame it on ‘the cone’.