So the Atlantic Hurricane Season begins today, and the traditional rhyme comes to mind:
June, too soon
July, stand by
August, come it must
October, all over.
However, the season is off to an unusual start. The first named storm – Hurricane Alex – actually developed in January, a very unusual occurrence. Alex developed maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and went on to affect the Azores.
And then last week, Tropical Storm Bonnie formed and made landfall as a tropical depression on the South Carolina coast. Bonnie wasn’t a strong storm, but brought a lot of rain.
So the traditional season starts with two of the twenty-one assigned names already used.
Alex Bonnie Colin Danielle Earl Fiona Gaston Hermine
Ian Julia Karl Lisa Matthew Nicole Otto Paula Richard
Shary Tobias Virginie Walter
The predictions are generally for a near average hurricane season with NOAA giving the following prediction:
The outlook calls for a 70% probability for each of the following ranges of activity during the 2016 hurricane season:
- 10-16 Named Storms, which includes Alex in January
- 4-8 Hurricanes, which includes Alex in January
- 1-4 Major Hurricanes
- Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) range of 65%-140% of the median, which includes Alex in January
And out of the 2016 Wet/Hurricane Season Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum in Dominica, there is this prediction:
“We expect that there will be more extreme wet spells. That means a couple of days in which there will be enormous amounts of rainfall that can come. Because that chance is getting higher and higher as we go on into our wet season, the risk of flash floods that lead on from such wet spells becomes much greater,” Cedric Van Meerbeeck, climatologist at the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), based in Barbados, told The Gleaner.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management (ODPEM) has a list of recommendations for hurricane preparedness. How many of these have you done yet?
Best to be prepared!