Caribbean Island Hurricane Updates and News
Hurricanes are sometimes referred to by other names, such as typhoons or cyclones, depending on what part of the world they occur. The scientific term for all these storms is tropical cyclone.
Hurricanes originate over warmer waters. Therefore, they form close to the equator where ocean and air temperatures tend to be highest. The water temperature must be at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the first 50 yards below the surface. This is to provide enough moisture to “feed” a storm system. The warmer the air is, the more moisture it can hold. Also, wind catalyzes this process by sweeping the water vapor from the surface and collecting it into distinct, vertical cloud formations. Then, as the moist air rises, it begins to twist due to Earth’s rotational and gravitational forces. This creates the swirling cloud patterns that we are all so familiar with.
Following the 2018 Caribbean hurricane season
Sept 10 – Florence will not impact the Caribbean. Issac is projected to pass south of Guadeloupe then west into the Caribbean sea. Islands that are on alert include Guadeloupe, Martinique, Dominica.
You can track active storm systems during hurricane season on the website maintained by the National Hurricane Center: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
For storm updates for specific Caribbean islands, resorts and villas – click here: St. Barths | Anguilla | Turks and Caicos | St. Martin | Virgin Islands | Antigua
For Riviera Maya hurricane updates, Jamaica hurricane updates, Grand Cayman hurricane updates – track hurricane news here: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
Naming Caribbean hurricanes for 2018 -2023:
Since 1953, Atlantic tropical storms had been named from lists originated by the National Hurricane Center. However, they are now maintained and updated through a strict procedure by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The six lists below are used in rotation and re-cycled every six years, i.e., the 2018 list will be used again in 2024. The only time that a change is made to the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name for a different storm would be insensitive. In these cases, a WMO committee votes to remove the offending name from the rotation list and replace it with another name. Several names have been retired since the lists were created including Irma, Maria and Harvey from the 2017 hurricane season.
Categorizing a hurricane based on wind speed
There are four levels of storm strength, a tropical disturbance might result in some thunderstorms. A tropical depression involves circulating winds of 25 to 38 miles per hour. At a wind speed of 39 miles per hour, the system becomes a tropical storm and is given an official name such as Harvey, Maria, Jose, Sandy or Irma. Finally, when winds top 74 miles an hour, the storm is officially a tropical cyclone (or in the north atlantic – a hurricane).
These storm systems in the Americas originate near the equator in the Atlantic ocean, and travel from east to west. They gradually curve northward as they approach the Caribbean, at which time they can take one of three common paths – west, northwest or north.
Recap from the 2017 hurricane season
Hurricanes Irma, Jose and Maria swept over several Caribbean islands in September of 2017. The islands most impacted were St Martin, Virgin Gorda, Tortola, Dominica, and Puerto Rico. These islands suffered significant damage to their infrastructure and property. For this reason, they were not able to support any tourism activity for the entirety of the 2017-2018 winter vacation season. Furthermore, numerous GoFundMe campaigns were set-up to assist in the recovery effort. Military engineers and disaster response teams from England, France, the Netherlands and the United States provided essential assistance.
Several other islands experienced varying degrees of property damage, but they managed to recover and rebuild in time to preserve a portion of the peak winter tourism season. Islands that were hit by one of these hurricanes and then recovered within months include St Barths and Anguilla.
For details on hurricane season news for Caribbean islands – click here: St. Barths | Anguilla | Turks and Caicos | St. Martin | Virgin Islands | Antigua
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