The Closing of the 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season

Posted By: Marty

The Closing of the 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season - 11/30/17 12:28 PM

Thursday 30th November marks the closing of the 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was forecasted to be above average and above average it was. A total of 17 named storms formed, of these seventeen storms, ten (10) became hurricanes and six (6) reached major hurricane status - category three (3) or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The two (2) strongest storms of the season were Hurricanes Irma and Maria with winds of 185 mph and 175 mph and minimum central pressure of 914 and 908 millibars, respectively. The table below summarizes the 2017 Hurricane Season and compares this season’s activity against the 2016 season and that of the 30-year average.

The major factors that supported the above-normal activity included a decrease in vertical wind shear and the presence of above-normal Sea Surface Temperatures in the Tropical Atlantic Ocean. Another key factor was the transition from a neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) pattern at the start of the hurricane season to a weak La Niña by the end of the season. This shift in ENSO supported weaker vertical wind shear over the Tropical Atlantic Ocean which is more conducive for tropical cyclone development.

Of the 17 systems formed during the season, Belize was blessed to have not been directly affected by any. However, two systems were tracked just north of our border. Those were Tropical Storms Franklin and Harvey.

Although the 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane season has closed, history has proven that systems do form outside of the seasons. One example is Tropical Storm Arlene that formed in April of 2017. The National Meteorological Service takes this time to ask everyone to do a review of their 2017 hurricane plan and to see their weaknesses and short-falls, so they can be better prepared if need arises in 2018.

The staff at the National Meteorological Service will continue to do its utmost best to disseminate reliable analytic information in a timely and user-friendly manner to the Belizean public in the case of any weather-related emergency event. The service remains committed to its mission of keeping the Belizean public well informed of any weather event that may affect their well-being and/or may affect the sustainable development of the nation.

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Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: The Closing of the 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season - 11/30/17 12:36 PM

Yea. done for another year.
Posted By: Marty

Re: The Closing of the 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season - 12/01/17 11:36 AM

Belize Escaped Unscathed Through 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season

The 2017 Atlantic Basin Hurricane season ended today. Now it might feel that it went by easily because Belize wasn't hit by any hurricanes - all we had to complain about were heavy rains and the usual flooding in some areas. But, while we were spared, the Caribbean buckled under the harsh blows of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Today at the NEMO office in Belmopan Deputy Chief Meteorologist Catherine Cumberbatch and NEMO Minister Edmond Castro gave us an overview of this year's season. The NEMO team was thankful for a season that showed Belize mercy.

Catherine Cumberbatch, Deputy Chief Meteorologist
"The forecast for the 2017 hurricane season was for above normal activity and that is just what happened. For this season we had 17 named storms and of those 17 named storms, 10 of them became hurricanes and out of those 10 hurricanes, I think it was 6 or 7, it was 6 of them that became major hurricanes and when we refer to major hurricanes we are talking category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the two strongest systems that formed during this season was Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria."

"We saw a bit of flooding in different parts of the country."

Catherine Cumberbatch
"Yes and those flooding were not related to those two activities that came in our area, remember we were in the hurricane season which is our rainy season too so certain parts of the country, it is a norm when we have these rains, which is a norm, we have flooding."

Hon. Edmond Castro, NEMO Minister
"The last flooding we had was the rain that came from out west that penetrated through my constituency in Crooked Tree and the Belize River Valley and we also had in Jalacte and in San Igncaio and we had down South and so as a precaution not to have the amount of flooding in those different parts of the country we have the NEMO backhoe that goes from north to south to clear out most of the drains and to make the path easier for the water to pass. What used to happen in the past is that some of the drains are clogged and so it created other problems for us by washing away roads, washing away culverts and washing away bridges and so on."

"Today marks the closing of this hurricane season and starting tomorrow we starts to work on the preparation for 2018 to make sure that we can re-engineer, re -adjust how we did and what we did and so on so we constantly have to be on our P's and Q's."

"I think we have the best well run organization not just in Belize but in the Caribbean and in the region and we would like that to continue to do good work as a shining example for the rest of the region and we can't accomplish that without having good people in place."

The NEMO team are already planning for the 2018 hurricane season.

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