Director of the Meteorological Service of Jamaica, Evan Thompson, says the region may experience more storms this hurricane season that initially anticipated.
He said that the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is now twice as much as was predicted at the beginning of June. “Instead of a 30% chance it is now a 60% chance of us having a more active hurricane season, which could produce as many as 21 tropical storms in this year. The average is 14,” he pointed out. Mr. Thompson addressed a ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston on Friday (August 11).
He noted that the National Hurricane Centre of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued an updated forecast for the hurricane season on August 10.
Forecasters believe that current ocean and atmospheric conditions, such as record-warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures, will likely counterbalance the usually limiting atmospheric conditions associated with the ongoing El Nino event.
“Yesterday (they said) it is much more likely that we will have more storms than normal in this hurricane season,” Mr. Thompson said. He also noted that it is anticipated that there will be an improvement in rainfall in the region in the coming months.
“We are seeing, maybe, some improvement coming in the near future. Right now, it has not been issued yet, but we believe we are moving closer to near normal or even above normal rainfall for Jamaica as we move towards October,” he said.
Citing the increased incidence of extreme weather, longer droughts, flooding, and extreme heat, Mr. Thompson said building resilience is critical.
“We have to improve our resilience… in a way that will give (us) a better chance at surviving when we are assaulted by hazards,” he said.