The Atlantic Hurricane Season is just over seven weeks away and it is expected to be an above average one. Researchers at Colorado State University, among the leading experts on climatology in North America, predict that 2021 will see seventeen named storms and eight hurricanes. Four of those eight will be major hurricanes, packing winds of at least one hundred eleven miles per hour. Belize is prepping for the new season and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) says they aren’t taking any chances. LOVE News spoke to National Coordinator Shelton Defour.
Col. Ret’d Sheldon Defore, National Coordinator, NEMO: “That meeting was about damage assessment and needs analysis, reviewing the system in place and looking at what will make that national committee and by extension its district committee function to its optimum and we recognized that collection of data has to be standard so the forms that will be used must be the same across the board for the various sectors that will be collecting the data that we need to inform the report so that that report can be used by the government to make decision. So what was one of the key things and also the procedures that they use at the national level must be the same at the district level so it is synchronized. We have been doing training on the ground in various parts of the country. We have completed the shelter inspection, that list right now is being reviewed to ensure that it is as accurate as possible before we produce the national shelter list. We have our backhoe digging drains out in Cayo to reduce flooding in most areas and we are embarked on the normal procedures or processes of getting the country ready from the community level up to the national level.”
The season officially starts on June one and ends on November thirty. However, according to Chief Meteorologist Ronald Gordon it is very possible that storms can form outside of that widow.
Ronald Gordon, Acting Chief Meteorologist: “One of the most reputable organizations that does hurricane seasonal prediction has come out with a first prediction for the season in early April; they’re going for seventeen named storms this season. That is a little bit above the new average and I must mention here that we have a new average. Our average is typically averaged over a thirty year period and that average changes every ten years so up to last year we were using the 1981 to 2010 period as our baseline for average but we’re in 2021 we’re using the period from 1991 to 2020 for our average and there has been an increase. So the previous average for named storms was twelve and now the new average is fourteen so there’s a new normal so to speak and in terms of hurricanes the previous average was six and now it’s seven. The major hurricanes has not changed it’s still three major hurricanes that has been the average for the season. So as I mentioned before Colorado State University is going for seventeen named storms so that’s about three above the average. In terms of hurricane they’re forecasting eight hurricanes to form and that’s about one above average and now they’re forecasting four major hurricanes which is about one above average as well. The factors that they’re looking at for this season is that we are currently in a weak La Nina phase. Most of the models are indicating that it will transition to mutual phase and thereafter going into the height of the hurricane season there is some uncertainty whether it’s going to be a weak La Nina or neutral conditions over the Pacific. In terms of the Atlantic Ocean we’re looking at above average surface temperatures so that’s a factor that will likely enhance hurricane activity again this season.”
The storm names this year are Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Elsa, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida (eye-dah), Julian, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, and Wanda.