hurricaneExperts are predicting a “near normal to below normal” 2014 Atlantic Hurricane season, but according to Acting Senior Meteorological Officer at the Dominica Meteorological Service Marshall Alexander, this does not mean guards should be let down.

The hurricane season officially begins on Sunday June 1 and will run till November 30.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts there is as a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, 40 percent chance near-normal and a 10 percent chance of an above normal season.

“This forecast should not be an excuse to let our guards down because even a quiet hurricane season can be devastating,” Alexander said. “Regardless of what the hurricane forecast says, history shows us that even in years when El Nino was dominant and below average seasons where forecasted, there were major hurricanes formed which caused devastation and loss of lives.”

The Acting Senior Metrological Officer also pointed out that Dominica must be reminded that its vulnerability is based on the fact that it is located in the middle of the main development region (MDR) for hurricanes, most of its population is located on the coast and it is vulnerable to hazards such as storm surge, flooding, landslides and strong winds.

“Just want to again stress that preparation is key regardless of seasonal predictions, we must prepare for the worst and pray for the best and response is the key to warnings issued. Residents should ensure that they know what to do if a watch or warning is issued by the Dominica Meteorological Service,” Alexander stated.

He also pointed out that the December 24 2013 trough system as well as the Pond Case rainfall event, that claimed the lives of two men in April, fell outside the hurricane season.

The following are the names for 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Arthur
Bertha
Cristobal
Dolly
Edouard
Fay
Gonzalo
Hanna
Isaias
Josephine
Kyle
Laura
Marco
Nana
Omar
Paulette
Rene
Sally
Teddy
Vicky
Wilfred