“In Florida, we’re effected by the ocean temperatures rising."By Andrea Alvarez

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News at 10) – Storm experts across Tampa Bay are keeping a close watch on a storm approaching the region.

“If you can open up your home to other people to come stay with you, that’s an excellent idea,” said Cathie Perkins, Pinellas County Emergency Management Director.

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With approximately 93,000 Pinellas County residents in new evacuation zones for the first time in six years, county officials are warning you to become familiar with your potential new zone as soon as possible.

Climate change experts are also speaking up about storm patterns and the impact climate change has on Florida storms, specifically.

“In Florida, we’re effected by the ocean temperatures rising, which, in the case of this tropical low system, warming sea surface ocean temperatures fuel rapidly intensifying storms,” said Shannon Maganiezin who hosts the Climate Correction podcast for the VoLo Foundation, a climate change advocacy group in Florida.

An example of what Maganiezin is talking about would be 10 to 20 years ago when a storm would go from a category one to category four over the course of a week. Now, she says it often grows that big in just 48 hours. “Because the ocean is just so warm and it’s releasing so much more moisture,” she explains.

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In fact, rising global temperatures contributes to more than just warm waters.

“The air all around us.. it can hold more water vapor and so when it does rain, there’s a lot more rain falling at any given time,” said Maganiezin. And because of this, rain could become a big issue for more than those living coastal. “Inland flooding is going to be a big issue that people have to watch out for.”

But fixing an issue of this magnitude, she says, will take more than changing a lightbulb or driving an electric vehicle.

“Our pollution is uncapped and so because of that, there really isn’t a large movement of end in sight but we have to use our power to vote,” she explains. “We have to empower our elected officials to put climate at the forefront.”

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Pinellas County is hosting a free hurricane preparedness day on June 4th to provide residents with info and resources on hurricane and storm preparedness. Click here for more information.