The rains have started and the hurricane season is just about to begin. The Chief Met Officer, Dennis Gonguez says that this year’s hurricane season will be more active than in 2012. The average season has about twelve named systems, but all major international forecasters are expecting twenty hurricanes to pass through the region.
Dennis Gonguez, Chief Met Officer
“All indications are from the reputable forecasting centers are that this season, the activity will be above average.”
“What’s the average and what are we looking at when we say above average?”
“Well average, we get about twelve named systems, however, the forecasts are calling for as high as twenty named systems. The lowest forecast in that range is about fourteen, which is still above the average of twelve.”
“When we are looking at these particular numbers, do you also estimate strengths? For example, do you expect any systems to be above category two or three?”
“Yes, the forecast is for about four or five systems to be above category three four and five and the long term average is about three. So we are looking at once again activity above average. The forecast is slightly above last year’s forecast. What we actually got last year, we had nineteen named systems. The forecast on the upper end is for twenty named systems. And the simple reason is…the inhibiting factor that puts the suppressing effect on our Atlantic Hurricane Season don’t exist at this time and they are not expected to evolve through this hurricane season. For example the El Nino effect. Typically, the El Nino would have…the warming of the Pacific Ocean would have a damping effect on our season over this side. We are not expecting the El Nino phenomenon to develop over this hurricane season. In addition, the sea surface temperatures are already above normal. We know that tropical cyclones use the sea surface temperatures as their source of energy and the temperatures are already running above normal. And the third thing is that we are in this cycle of heightened tropical cyclone activity. And although we are on the lower leg of it, we are still above average activity expected.”
NEMO will be hosting a press conference in anticipation of the Hurricane Season in Belmopan later this week.