Another above-active Atlantic hurricane season predicted

Even as some Caribbean countries continue in recovery mode following the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last September, forecasters are warning that the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season will be another active one, with above-average activity.

In its long-range forecast for the season which officially runs June 1 to November 30, researchers at Colorado State University predict there will be 14 named storms this season, including about seven hurricanes.

They also expect three storms to be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5).

According to the report, there is a 52 per cent chance of at least one major hurricane tracking into the Caribbean. That probability is higher than the average for the last century (42 per cent).

However, the forecasters said, “coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted”.

Last year there were 17 named storms in the Atlantic, 10 of which were hurricanes and six of which reached at least Category 3 strength.

Hurricanes Maria and Irma were both Category 5 when they made landfall in the Caribbean. Irma caused catastrophic damage in Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, St Martin, Anguilla, and the Virgin Islands; while Maria, which hit two weeks later, devastated Dominica and Puerto Rico.