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May 30, 2014

2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season

The 2014 hurricane season is here, and as it does every year, the Met Office is advising Belizeans to be prepared for the worst. Best predictions are that there will be six to eight named storms this year which is average, or slightly above average. Chief Met Office Dennis Gonguez today told News Five that just because we got lucky last year and the year before, we shouldn’t be complacent.

 

Dennis Gonguez, Chief Meteorologist

Dennis Gonguez

“The more reputable seasonal outlook forecast centres are predicting a slightly above average to near normal hurricane season this year. Typically in an average season, we will get twelve names systems. The forecast is looking at about eight to the lowest end to about thirteen at the upper end named systems this year. The long-term average for hurricanes is about six hurricanes per year. The forecast is looking somewhere around six to eight this year for hurricanes and major hurricanes which are category three, four and five, we are looking at about one to two in the forecast and the average is about two major hurricanes this year.  So we are looking at an average season to a little above average season this year. However, we should take that with a big note of caution. These outlooks do not tell where landfall will be. So although it will be an average season or a slightly below average season, you could be hit twice, three times a year and that would be a bad year for you. So we have to emphasize the preparedness issue. Regardless of what the seasonal outlook is saying, we need to be prepared. Last year we had an above average rainfall right across the country. This dry season, it was an abbreviated season, it wasn’t typically the dry season we have each year and so there is still moisture in the soil at the start of the season. So when we look at down the road now when we get average to above average rain fall come September, October, November December, then we will look at higher probability of flooding events occurring. I just want to stress the preparedness issue; that we need to be prepared and we can’t afford to be complacent. Just because last year we didn’t have anything much, the year before we didn’t have anything much, we should not just sit back and say same thing will happen this year because this might just be the year when we might get that big one. So I don’t want to sound like an alarmist, but we need to be prepared. We need to be ready for whenever the real one comes, the big one comes around, we need to be prepared. So we should not just become complacent and sit back and say well it didn’t happen last year, it didn’t happen the year before so it won’t happen this year. That’s not true; nature does not behave that way.”

 

The first named storm this year will be Arthur.

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