The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season for the Atlantic Basin will officially start today Friday, June 1st and ends on November 30th.
The 2017 Hurricane Season was more significantly active that a normal season of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. This extremely catastrophic season produced 17 storms, 10 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes, including category 5 hurricanes “Maria” and “Irma” which caused unprecedented damages across the islands of Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Virgin Islands.
While St. Vincent and the Grenadines was spared the brunt of these devastating hurricanes, heavy rains and rough seas affected us during the passage of several systems, resulting in flooding and landslides across the islands.
Notable, SVG had Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings in place for Tropical Storms Don, Bret and Harvey as well as Hurricane Maria.
This year, the U.S National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has predicted a “near-or above normal” season with 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 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). According to NOAA, this outlook is driven by two main factors; the possibility of a weak El Nino developing, and near-average sea surface temperatures across the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea
It must be noted however, that the outlook by no means indicate locations where systems will develop, how they will move or where they will strike. All Government ministries, NGOs, the business fraternity and the general public are therefore urged to prepare as usual for this hurricane season.
It is vital to understand your vulnerability to heavy rainfall, strong winds and storm surge, and take the necessary measures to lessen the impact brought about by these hazards.
The Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Meteorological Services will continue to monitor the development of all systems and if necessary, issue public advisories, watches or warnings. We will also coordinate with the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) about the likely hazards accompanying these systems. All Vincentians must therefore continue to pay close attention to the local radio and television stations as well as other media outlets for releases issued by our office.
Additionally, the Meteorological Services is pleased to announce the launch of a brand new website, http://www.meteo.gov.vc/.
The website provides the latest weather information and features Infrared Satellite. It also offers access link to our local Emergency Warning System known as Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), which was
recently launched by NEMO. The link provides instructions to download a mobile application, and how to subscribe for email alerts of impending hazards or threats.
An invitation is extended to our users to view the page and see the products which are available. To stay connected on social media, follow us on Facebook via, https://facebook.com/svgweather
The names selected for the 2018 Hurricane Season are:
Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine Oscar, Patty Rafael Sara, Tony Valerie and William
*Alberto has already developed as a pre-season Sub-tropical storm; the first for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season.
Be prepared this hurricane season and be safe!!