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May 21, 2004

Scientists predict active hurricane season

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With the formal start of the 2004 hurricane season only ten days away, we decided to make a quick check with the nation’s weather forecasters to see what to expect. According to Ramon Frutos, all signs point to a busy six months.

Ramon Frutos, Agro-meteorologist

“All the forecasts are indicating that the Atlantic Sea surface temperature will remain above normal for the first half of the hurricane season. Consequently then all the organisations like for example the University of Colorado, the Cuban met service and the NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States are predicting an above normal hurricane season. So it will be an active one with probably twelve to fifteen named storms developing in the Atlantic Basin. And about seven or eight of these will be hurricanes, will reach hurricane strength. Out of these eight they expect two to three to be intense hurricanes of category three or higher in strength.”

And are there any special preparations that Belizeans need to take?

Frank Tench, Forecaster

“I would say the same level of preparedness that families, organisations, and individuals went through last year to prepare for the hurricane season, to go through the same routine again. And whatever area you failed to prepare for in last year’s hurricane season it?s another opportunity to do better this year. The main idea is to be prepared, because in our case we can’t really tell you exactly where or when a hurricane or tropical storm is going to hit, but once you’re prepared and have a plan in place about what to do for yourself, your family, or your organisation then you’re a few steps ahead of the game, right.”

Those preparations should revolve around a formal hurricane plan for every family including consideration of shelter, food and water, radio, batteries, lights, protective clothing, and transport. The designated names for this year’s tropical storms and hurricanes are: Alex, Bonnie, Charley, Danielle, Earl, Frances, Gaston, Hermine, Ivan, Jeanne, Karl, Lisa, Matthew, Nicole, Otto, Paula, Richard, Shary, Thomas, Virginie, and Walter. The hurricane season starts on June first and runs through November thirtieth.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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