Current weather trends in line with hurricane season predictions

Deputy Director in the Department of MeteorologyBasil Dean said existing weather conditions, particularly the extreme heat in the past few week, are proof that this year’s Atlantic Hurricane season will be very active.

“There are a number of indicators that predictors look for to see whether or not the season will be a busy one or not,” Dean explained.

“For example, the sea surface temperature right now is above normal. Warm sea temperature is very critical in the development or formation of a tropical cyclone.”

According to Dean, based on the existing patterns, the country can expect major storm development in mid-September.

For the past three years, the cumulative damage caused by hurricanes exceeded approximately $673 million.

Hurricane Irma racked up a cost of some $130 million alone in damages in 2017, while Hurricane Matthew led to costs of up to $430 million.

Just last month, the Ministry of Works requested $10 million in the upcoming budget for repairs to Ragged Island and other Family Islands affected by severe storms last year.

For some residents, the new season brings lots of worries.

Sherry Knowles – a resident living just off of Robinson Road said, her home in still in disrepair.

“The last hurricane season we had the shingles fly off … the kitchen door flew off,” Knowles explained.

“My wall is still broken. This is another season of the hurricane. I’m still trying to see how I can get assistance (and now) this valued-added tax (VAT) thing is now coming up.

“It’s a lot, I don’t understand what the government is doing.”

Dean cautioned that preparedness is the most important thing. He also cautioned residents to seek information from reputable news sources.

“Social media has become a challenge over the last few years,” he said. “What I generally say to persons who call into the met office is to ask yourself a question ‘are any of the mainstream offices putting out this information?’”