Stormier hurricane season expected, experts believe

| 01/06/2017 | 14 Comments
Cayman News Service

Hurricane Ivan 2004

(CNS): As the political storms subside in Cayman, for the time being at least, the islands now face six months in preparation for stormy weather. Since Hurricane Paloma struck Cayman Brac in 2008, the country has dodged any seasonal disasters but, as officials from Hazard Management Cayman Islands continually remind us, that should not make people complacent. Even in the quietest of seasons, it only takes one to wreak havoc, and with a potentially busier season ahead of us, Cayman will need to be prepared.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasters predict a 45% chance of an above-normal season, a 35% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20% chance of a below-normal season in their most recent forecast last month. They have a 70% chance of eleven to 17 named storms, with as many as nine becoming hurricanes, up to four of which could be major.

“The outlook reflects our expectation of a weak or nonexistent El Niño, near- or above-average sea-surface temperatures across the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and average or weaker-than-average vertical wind shear in that same region,” Gerry Bell, the lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, said in a release last week.

While the number of hurricanes making landfall in recent years appears to have declined, there have been many more storms that stay out to sea and there are concerns that when hurricanes form, they are now becoming more intense. And while the hurricane belt itself is moving, it is fluctuating and Cayman remains in the danger zone.

The season prediction includes the early Tropical Storm Arlene, which formed over the eastern Atlantic in April. There was no tropical storm activity as the season opened Thursday, but when it comes, the next storm will be named Bret. The remaining list of names for the 2017 season is as follows: Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney.

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Category: Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    good we need some breeze blow some people off ya.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yeah yeah yeah,,, we heard this all before.

    If it will happen it will happen. Trying to predict how many is just to ramp up the request for additional funds to make more predictions.

    If we have 1 or 100 makes no differences in trying to guess how many or how strong they will be. We are in the path.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands already had our storm on May 25th. They first storm as “Arden” the Good Lord ain’t going to put us through any more storm. The names of the storms are Arden, Ezzard, Sanders,

  4. Skeptical says:

    These so-called predictors are a joke – they will be revising their prediction in a few months time to take into account what has actually happened in the interim. Wondering how I can get a bookie to let me change my bet when the horses are halfway round the track! Call it what it is – at best, an educated guess.

  5. Anonymous says:

    If Mr Eden is to be believed we will be hit because of our corrupt and wicked ways. On the other hand statistics would indicate that we are going to get hit every 50 years or so by a big one (could be a lot more or a lot less) regardless of how we behave.

  6. Anonymous says:

    What ?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Continue your great work of informing the Cayman Islands our (national weather service)!

  8. Anonymous says:

    The number of storms in any particular season doesn’t matter… what matters is where you are when that 1 storm hits. In 1992, the first named storm of a very light season was not until the end of August… the name… “Andrew”. I am sure the people of South Florida will never forget that one. So everyone should be prepared… all the time… just in case.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It will take more than a tongue to call it. How about 13 years of caring for one another, helping our poor, jobless and destitute? Mix in with that our penchant for telling the truth, respecting one another’s convictions, being faithful to our spouses, spending a little time with our kids and being thankful for some of the simple things, I’d say we should avoid another disaster, wouldn’t you?

    • Anonymous says:

      Does death only come for the wicked? It’s irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. All luck.

  10. Anonymous says:

    “Experts, what experts?”
    “Oh you know, they’re out there.”

  11. Anonymous says:

    Baton down the hatches and get your hurricane supplies in if you have not already.
    If we get that far I cannot think of “Maria” as being a hurricane…she was a little feisty on occasions for sure, but so sweet and sexy.Suspect she probably still is. No, she couldn’t be a hurricane.
    Now Tammy…that’s a different matter and if she comes a callin’ I am so outta here, ‘cos damn, that one was madder than hell.

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