Categorized | National News

Below Average Hurricane Season Predicted

Meteorologists are predicting a below average 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season as forecasts indicate that hurricane activity will be “tame.”

Met Officer at the Department of Meteorology Godfrey Burnside said unlike past years, the upcoming hurricane season is not expected to cause as much damage as it did in years past.

“As a matter of fact, the hurricane season is going to be below average,” he said. “We’re looking at 10 named storms, four becoming hurricanes and two will be major hurricanes.

“This means the major hurricanes will be 110 miles per hour (mph) or greater.”

The Met Office said the forecast fell between the long-term average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two intense hurricanes and a more active recent average of 15 named storms, eight hurricanes and four intense hurricanes.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts on June 1 and ends November 30 and 2011 saw a total of 19 named or tropical storms of which seven became hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

Last year, Hurricane Irene battered The Bahamas and caused millions of dollars worth of damage in some Family Islands, homes, businesses, churches and schools were ripped apart.

However, Mr. Burnside did say that as the country is on the cusp of the summer, the rainy season has officially started bringing heavy downpours to the country on Tuesday.

“We have a deep tropical moisture coming from the Gulf of Mexico,” he explained. “That’s combined with a big cold front that’s stationed over the Northern Florida area that will move toward the southeast. So we will have these showers around for the next 36 to 48 hours.”

“It is also combined with the southerly flow in the lower and mid level of the atmosphere so the pockets of showers and thunderstorms will continue into Thursday with a short break, and then by weekend again we will have a mix of clouds and showers, so maybe the official rainy season has begun.”

Throughout the day Tuesday dark clouds blanketed the sky as intermittent rains washed across The Bahamas.

The Department of Meteorology released a number of severe weather warnings yesterday advising Bahamians of the passing weather system.

A severe thunderstorm warning was in effect for New Providence, Central and South Abaco, The entire Exuma Chain, North Eleuthera and adjacent waters.

Some of these thunderstorms would have, at times, caused strong gusty winds, dangerous lightning, heavy downpours and possible waterspout or tornadic activity.

It was just last month that a serious weather system passed through the capital, ripping through some homes and dumping nearly 10 inches of rain on New Providence.

“From time to time we’ll have these systems that will affect these mid and upper level systems that will happen during the summer months,” Mr. Burnside added. “Then combined, with the convective activity that is associated with the summer months, you have the afternoon shower and thunderstorms and this rainy season lasts until about October.”

The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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