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May 31, 2017

June to November, the Hurricane Season is Here!

The Hurricane Season is here and the Met Service says that this year is forecasted to be active. The above normal season will see fourteen named storms and three are expected to turn into major hurricanes. News Five’s Andrea Polanco shares more on what we can expect from this above normal hurricane season.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

On June first the Atlantic Hurricane season begins – and this year the prediction is that the season will be more active from June to November marking the season to be above normal with fourteen named systems.


Catherine Cumberbatch

Catherine Cumberbatch, Chief Met, Belize Met Service

“The 2017 forecast, ladies and gentlemen, is going for a slightly above normal hurricane season. That mean, what we usually expect from the norm – that means the season will be a little more active. What the forecast is showing is that they are going for fourteen named storms; and of these fourteen named storms, seven are expected to become hurricanes and three of the fourteen named storms they are projecting to become a stronger or major hurricane, that is category three or above on the Saffir Simpson Scale.  When we talking about above normal, the normal for any hurricane season is twelve named storms, four hurricanes and two major hurricanes.”


Chief Meteorologist explains why the activity is above normal this year; with two factors responsible:


Catherine Cumberbatch

“There were two main ingredients that were factored into coming up with an above normal forecast. One was the Enzo Paci Phenomenology in the Central Pacific – whether we were going to have an El Nino event or not; and the warmness of the North Atlantic Ocean were the two key factors that came in to predict this forecast. As you all know, Enzo and the El Nino phenomena – when there is the El Nino what it does to our side of the basin, it cause the winds of the upper levels to be very strong and this tends to shred away any activity or any system that tries to develop – it shreds away that activity.”


So what does this mean for Belize? We should just prepare enough no matter how the season looks.


Derrick Rudon

Derrick Rudon, Deputy Chief Met, Belize Met Service

“Seasonal forecast are good but if they are projecting higher than average season, people will tend to prepare. When they are saying a lower than average season, people will tend to prepare. Now, there is no correlation between a high activity season and one making land fall in Belize. So, you can have twenty storms one year and none of them affects us. And you can have one storm one year and that storm affects us, so the thing is to be prepared every year. You should be prepared as if a storm is going to hit you. You should know where you are going in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm.”


Catherine Cumberbatch

“They do have what they call the probability – that the system can become within a certain range of our country and all those probabilities that we looked at were very, very low. For instance, the possibility of the storm coming within fifty miles off Belize shore that was only given something like thirty five percent; and a tropical storm coming within one hundred same range of Belize City they only gave that twenty percent; while you have for a hurricane coming within fifty they were only giving that a seventeen percent probability that a system would come in those range; although those probability are very small and low, it doesn’t say much. Because as the Deputy uttered here, it only takes one system, whether the probability is low or not you can still have a system developing. So, it doesn’t matter. The key thing is that these forecasts tell us how we are good and coming close to climatology and  let us be prepared; that is exactly what these forecast tells us.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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