My relatives in California are more often affected by the combined effects of mudslides, forest fires and earthquakes along with tidal surges which I previously mentioned than the chances of a hurricane making a direct hit here where I live (yes it could happen and some say we're overdue). I considered the entire package. Oh I left out rock slides too and homes that come off their foundations and slide down a hillside taking out all the homes beneath them in parts of California even without an earthquake.
The hyperbole about constant worry of hurricanes was the main point of that post since its again only a 6 month per year window in the Atlantic Basin overall with most tropical storms that hit close enough to impact the St Pete area with their outer bands milder than the typical Nor Easters that hit the New England area with greater regularity. Yes the news media may publish higher wind speeds then we see here because they take them at Tampa Airport and other more exposed areas however those are much greater that we actually see in built up areas. Many Atlantic hurricanes hit the Mid Atlantic coast and head North with Cape Hatteras being ground zero much of the time so its not just Florida.
My sister moved to the Carolina's from the St Pete area to escape the perceived threat of hurricanes and found she had jumped from the frying pan into the fire. She moved back after a few years and is enjoying the simpler wardrobe and not having to deal with what one would consider the moderately cold winters in North Carolina. Her older husbands health unfortunately took a hit from dealing with the winters there and he is still suffering from the aftereffects.
I also see a number of folks coming into the St Pete area from California because they could not take it any more between the natural and man made disasters and such along with the absurd cost of living.
Remember though that I am not talking about the Glades, Homestead, Punta Gorda, Pan Handle or other parts of the State of Florida with more severe weather known to get the bulk of the "Direct Hits" but just the Pinellas County Peninsula in the area of Clearwater/St Pete. Personally I live in a built up non-evacuation zone know as the Highlands that was constructed in the 1940's. Plenty of buffer zone all around to take the brunt of any storms plus I am at a higher elevation than most of the City of Tampa.
Like I have mentioned a number of times you have to choose wisely.
Your relatives in California are a significant minority. 98% of Southern Californians are absolutely not worried about mudslides. Those who are worried about it, have chosen to be worried about it since mudslides are only a problem on certain hillsides with a certain geology. If you are worried about a mudslide you either live on such hillside or right below it, but this is not typical for Californians and especially not for one who will be living on a boat.
Same for forest fires, although the number of people worried about it may be a bit higher. While we do have forest fires on occassion, they typically happen in the forest areas where the population is pretty low and forest fires are much more likely to occur in the summer months when it is hot and dry, not in the winter months. However again, this shouldn't even be a thought for someone who will be living on a boat, particularly in any of the marinas previously mentioned.
When we do have earthquakes, they are typically well inland so if you are on a boat, it is not really a concern. Tidal waves (tsunamis) are extremely rare and typically occur so far away that by the time they reach our coast, the prevailing winds/currents, intermittent offshore weather, and squalls that it would encounter on the way will have reduced them to a mere caution mainly for those at sea, not in the marina.
I won't talk about the number of Florida plates I see here regularly...yet when I drove to Florida and stayed visiting for nearly 3 weeks, I think I saw only 1 maybe 2 California plates.
I've lived in Florida for a few months and while I personally liked the storms there and the weather is probably second only to California nationwide. Even though we had one hurricane scare and it did hit us but we missed the brunt of it while in Florida. Yet to be honest I am not even counting that...personally I liked how Florida got more rain and beautiful thunderstorms so I'm probably a little biased towards Florida a bit, yet still overall I'd say California gets better weather.
The only reason why I said that OP might prefer Florida is because I think in the winter months that Florida (certain parts of it anyway) will have more opportunities for sailing. I do not at all believe however that Florida has better weather than we do...in any season. In summer months, I think California has hands down better day sailing and for year round living, I'd rather be here.
I sure do miss the awesome thunderstorms though...
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