Hurricane Season begins today; be prepared, say officials

Effects of Hurricane Maria on Dominica in 2017. Photo: R. Sanford

The 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins today, June 1 and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a near-normal season.

NOAA’s outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which goes from June 1 to November 30, predicts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season, and a 30% chance of a below-normal season. Officials at the agency are forecasting a range of 12 to 17 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4, or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).

June is not traditionally the most active month for the emergence of named storms, yielding 25 such storms since 2004. The most active period for hurricane season is typically late August through mid-September.

Meteorologists and hurricane experts predict peak hurricane season based on previous storms dating back to the mid-1800′s. Water temperature is one of the many tools meteorologists use to forecast storms in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Warmer water temperatures mean more energy for tropical storms and hurricanes to use. The higher the temperature, the more likely the rapid intensification of storms is. Hurricane Maria, which devastated Dominica in September 2017, was an example of a rapidly intensifying storm.

Meanwhile, Acting Senior Met Officer at the Dominica Meteorological Service, Ithoma James, is urging Dominicans to be prepared.

“To tell people that what they should expect is really to be prepared because it only takes one,” he said on state-owned DBS Radio. “Even if it is above normal or below normal, people should just be prepared, do the necessary things that [are] needed for when the season starts.”

He said residents should obtain emergency kits, have hurricane plans in place, be aware of the locations of hurricane shelters, clear drains, and cut overhanging trees around their properties.

“Just do the necessary things…” he said.

“You just need to be prepared that whatever comes you are ready for it.”


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