DAMAGE in Bimini after Hurricane Irma. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff
By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
AS WEATHER experts expect a slightly above average 2018 hurricane season, Chief Meteorologist Basil Dean urged residents to take advantage of this dry season to make preparations in anticipation of any possible dangerous and destructive storms that could affect the county.
Colorado State University (CSU) issued its preliminary seasonal forecast on Thursday, ahead of the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 through November 30.
The season, according to CSU, is expected to be above average producing 14 storms, seven of which are expected to become hurricanes with three being major storms.
The report also included the probability of major hurricanes making landfall including 63 per cent for the entire US coastline, 39 percent for the US East Coast, including the Florida peninsula , 38 percent for the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle and 52 percent for the Caribbean.
In an interview with The Tribune Friday, Mr Dean said “it’s preparation time”.
“As usual my message is simple: we need not worry too much about the numbers, just worry about the one that may impact you because that’s all it takes for you to have a busy season,” Mr Dean told The Tribune. “Over the years we have seen an increase in tropical cyclone activity in the Bahamas with New Providence getting a brush of it with Hurricane Matthew so these are just some sort of reminder to residents that hurricanes are dangerous and can be very, very destructive, hence we need to do the necessary things to ensure that we are able to survive the approach and the wrath of these forces of nature.
“Again I appeal to residents to take advantage of this dry season - and as you can see it is getting away from us - to tend to those roofs that may have some needs and also you want to ensure that your shutters and things are in good working order. This is also a good time to do tree trimming because we are now into spring, so you want to make sure those things are taken care of especially those near power lines.”
While above the long-term average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes, this forecast is quieter than 2017, which had 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and six major hurricanes.
Although hurricane season in the Atlantic starts June 1, the majority of storms occur between mid-August and mid-October meaning, this prediction is coming four months before the bulk of hurricane activity.