SVG Enters The 2021 Hurricane Season More Vulnerable Than Ever

NOAA Predicts That The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season Will Be Busier Than Average

(By Ernesto Cooke) – Today Tuesday, June 1, marks the official start of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Head of the SVG Meteorological Services Billy Jefers said in the aftermath of the La Soufriere eruption, the island could be heading into the hurricane season somewhat vulnerable.

In early May, the Colorado State University Department of Atmospheric Science, Tropical Weather, and Climate Research division said there is a 55% probability that a named storm will impact SVG in 2021.

CSU is also forecasting a 15% probability that a hurricane will impact the island.

Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), Ms Michelle Forbes, in late May said NEMO was in the process of looking for additional shelters, which will be hurricane-ready.

“We may have persons in emergency shelters for some time, certainly people in Sandy Bay may not be able to return soon, I can’t give a timeframe, so we now have to look for additional emergency shelters.” 

“We have started that process, we have to look for additional emergency shelters that are up to hurricane standards, because some of the shelters that we use for volcanic emergencies are not hurricane standard, so we have to move those persons now out of those particular shelters into shelters that have been designated as hurricane shelters.” Ms. Forbes said.

In April, Scientist Richard Robertson said communities in the Red Zone or North of the island would experience lahars well into the 2022 rainy season.

“Yes, the potential for damage and destruction from lahars would continue in St Vincent for quite a long time. And when I say a long time, I would estimate not just this rainy season, but up to 2022”.

Robertson says there are many materials on the hillside of La Soufriere that will be mobilised and potentially cause damage during the rainy season.

Weather site AccuWeather forecasts 16 to 20 named storms for the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane season. Meteorological experts at Colorado State University predict 17 named storms. And the NOAA said on its May 20 forecast it expects 13-20 named storms, six-10 hurricanes, and three to five major hurricanes.

Subtropical Storm Ana, which formed in the waters 200 miles northeast of Bermuda in the second half of May, was named the season’s first storm.

Ana’s formation date of May 22 comes over a week before the official June 1 start of the Atlantic hurricane season and marks the seventh consecutive year that a pre-season named storm has formed. 

The previous record was four consecutive years, set in 1951-1954. Although the National Hurricane Center has not changed the June 1 start date of the Atlantic hurricane season, it did move the launch date of its daily Tropical Weather Outlooks to May 15 starting this year.

Hurricane season 2021 officially ends on November 31, 2021. 

Ernesto Cooke

Ernesto Cooke has been a radio broadcaster for over twenty years; he was a news reporter at WEFM before joining News784. In addition, he has written for the New York Times and reported For the BBC during the La Soufriere eruptions of 2021.

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