Acting senior meteorological officer, Marshal Alexander, has indicated that there is a 45% chance of an above normal hurricane season in 2019.
Alexander made the disclosure at a training session held for members of the media and communications sector at the Office of Disaster Management in Jimmit on Saturday.
Based on information from the latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) prediction issued on August 8th 2019, this is a departure from the previous prediction of just 30% for the year which was issued in May.
Alexander explained that the prediction of an above normal hurricane season is due to a weak or non existent El Nino this season.
“…The result of El Nino is …it provides a lot of wind shear over the Atlantic that would impede… the formation of tropical cyclones…”, Alexander stated. He added that because, “El Nino is no more…conditions could be favourable for tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic”.
By way of comparison, the projection almost exactly mirrors the prediction for the 2017 hurricane season which saw the advent of Hurricane Irma and Maria that wrought unprecedented destruction across the Caribbean.
2017 also saw a weak El Nino with none of the mitigating wind shear that may impede the formation of tropical cyclones in the Atlantic.
It is important to note that the prediction is a percentage chance which does not guarantee the same result even if the figures are the same or similar with previous years.
However, the NOAA prediction is still the best forecast we have to anticipate and prepare for the hurricane season.