NEMA warns 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season nearing peak activity

NEMA warns 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season nearing peak activity

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The National Emergency Management Agency has warned residents to remain vigilant and prepared as the peak of the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season approaches.

In a statement today, NEMA said the peak period of the season heightens concerns as the world, particularly the region, is also dealing with the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Social distancing measures, lockdowns, curfews, and travel restrictions may complicate preparations and relief efforts as the storm season kicks into high gear,” the agency said.

The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season spans between June 1 to November 30.

NEMA noted that September 10 is considered to be the start date for the peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

The season has been “very active”, with the latest weather systems, Tropical Storm Paulette and Tropical Storm Rene forming on September 7.

Hurricane Isaias, the second hurricane to form this year, moved through The Bahamas during the last two days of July and the first two days of August but only attained Category 1 strength

Director of NEMA Captain Stephen Russell said, “We are grateful that Hurricane Isaias, which passed through The Bahamas, and Tropical Storm Laura which passed along the southern coast of Cuba, did not result in any significant damage to The Bahamas.”

This year, the season was forecasted to be a very active one, such that 25 named storms were predicted – the most ever forecasted for a season.

“From mid-August through mid-October, activity markedly increases with September 10 being the statistical peak of the hurricane season,” Basden said.

“This may be interpreted as the day you are most likely to find a tropical depression, tropical storm, or hurricane somewhere in the Atlantic Basin.”

The met director assured the public that local met experts are closely monitoring the tropics.

“No matter whether it is before peak season, during peak season, or after peak season, be assured that The Bahamas Department of Meteorology will monitor the Atlantic Basin and inform the Bahamian people of its tropical cyclone status,” Basden said.

He too reminded the public of the need to be prepared.

“It only takes one storm to make it a bad Hurricane Season for you.”

Captain Russell also reminded the public to adhere to safety protocols: wash or sanitize your hands regularly; wear your masks properly over your nose and mouth; stay physically distant from others; do not attend mass gatherings; stay at home if you and not feeling well and contact your health care provider if necessary.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.