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Jun 1, 2018

Hurricane Season is Here – Are You Ready?

The 2018 hurricane season officially opened today with twelve to fourteen named storms to be expected.  Six to seven of them will form into hurricanes, while two are expected to become category three or higher.  The season runs from June first to November thirtieth.  Chief Meteorological Officer Catherine Cumberbatch tells us more.


Catherine Cumberbatch

Catherine Cumberbatch, Chief Met Officer [File: May 30th, 2018]

“The latest forecast that we are seeing for most of the agents who actually work with producing these forecasts, they are going for ….for the normal to slightly above normal activity .In a normal year we usually have about twelve named storms and of those twelve we have six becoming hurricanes and two becoming major hurricanes. So, for this year, they are going for a range of twelve to fourteen systems forming in the north Atlantic Basin which is the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic. So, it is a normal to slightly above normal activity we are expecting for the region.  There are two things that they came up with for the forecast reason for that. The sea surface temperature is more at a normal range – it is a bit cooler than it would have been expected to be and that is where the sea surface temperature – this is where the bulk of the energy activity gets its energy from. Another thing that was put into this forecast is the Enzo condition. It is projected that as we go into the summer we will go into a more neutral, weaker El Nino. Right now we are in a more neutral event.”


Andrea Polanco

“Is there perhaps a period within the hurricane season where we will see more activity?”


Catherine Cumberbatch

“Normally, on a thirty year average, most of the activities for our country occur in the late August, September, October period. It is what is called the peak of the hurricane season for our country. When you look at thirty years, those are the months when hurricane most frequently visits our area but we have been known to have systems form out of that high peak season.”


Andrea Polanco

“What does this mean for Belize? Do we have to be prepared as always?”


Catherine Cumberbatch

“As I always say, Andrea, it doesn’t matter if it is below normal or above normal, it only takes one. And that one can cause havoc. So, within any season, every season, the key thing is to be prepared as if though it is going to be a very active season as if we expect a hundred storms or whatever. The key thing is to be prepared. Tune in to the national met service and NEMO in any event there is a case that the Belizeans need to heed to.”

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