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Jun 1, 2020

The Met Service Says the Hurricane Season Will Be an Active One!

The hurricane season is here. Today marks the official opening of the Atlantic Hurricane Season for this year and the forecast is for an active season.  The National Met Service says that for this year just about all predictions point to an above average season and this consensus is not usually seen.  As Deputy Chief Met Ronald Gordon shared just now, the named storms started forming before this official opening which may also corroborate that it will be a busy season for storms. Here’s what he said about what you can expect and some tips that you can use to prepare.

 

Ronald Gordon, Deputy Chief Met, National Met Service

“The forecast from most of the international agencies that do this type of forecasting for this year is for an above average hurricane season. The one that we pay attention to a lot is from NOAA; the national oceanographic of atmospheric administration in the U.S.  They are going for thirteen to nineteen named storms for this year. An average year is twelve so that is above average; of those they forecast six to ten to become hurricanes and three to six to become major hurricanes, so it is a forecast for a very active hurricane season.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What does that mean for us here in Belize?”

 

Ronald Gordon

Ronald Gordon

“Okay. We generally say that there is generally no strong correlation in any given year and a land fall on Belize. So, whether there is a lot of storms forming or not, you could have a land fall on any given year and that makes it an active season for you. So, we always advise Belizeans to be prepared for whatever comes our way. It is a very unusual year in that we have never had such strong consensus from the different agencies. So, this is one year where all or most are going for an above average season.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Is there a reason why scientists are saying we are seeing an above average year in terms of storms?”

 

Ronald Gordon

“The factors that they are looking at in this particular year is the fact that we are not looking at an El Niño; last year we had an El Niño phenomena and what that does is that it normally suppresses tropical cyclone activity in our part of the ocean; so we are not seeing an el Niño this year. Other factors include a low vertical wind shear – that is the strong winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere that normally tear apart the hurricanes – we are not seeing that happening this year; added to that we have lot of moisture in our area at the mid-levels and also a very active mid-level monsoon, as you know the tropical waves normally emerge from the coast of Africa and with that active west African monsoon means that those waves become enhanced as they leave the coast, so there is a chance for them to develop further.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“With these named storms, we have seen one, actually two; there were some formations even before the hurricane season set it – what does this say about when we look at the tropical Atlantic hurricane basin?”

 

Ronald Gordon

“Yes, we already had two named storms before the start of the season and to me that is an indication that indeed it is going to be an active season that we already have two named storms before June first. The main thing I would advise the Belizean citizens to do is to keep monitoring the weather situation; keep informed from official sources. Don’t listen to rumors, especially Facebook. The national met service and NEMO are here to update you all the time from anything that is coming our way. Have a hurricane plan in place and let your family and everyone in the family knows this plan. Know which shelter you are going to if you need to go to a shelter; what route you are going to take and so on. Be prepared before something actually happens.”


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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