It seems that in the blinking of an eye another first of June is upon as heralding in yet another Hurricane Season.
Last month we received the prognostication from Colorado State University atmospheric scientists predicting less than average tropical cyclone activity for this upcoming hurricane season.
They have forecast only seven named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane.
Personally, I don’t care for hurricane predictions, especially when they tell us we don’t have much to worry about. I fear that it leads to complacency and we know that can lead to widespread destruction and even death in the event of a hurricane, no matter how small or large.
I will not go into all of the particulars of their prediction – increased wind shear in the Atlantic basin, cooler sea surface temperatures in the tropical and subtropical Atlantic Ocean – but even the predictors themselves admit that it is “impossible to precisely predict this season’s hurricane activity in early April”.
And that is the rub. No one knows exactly how severe weather is going to impact us. I seriously doubt that the people on the eastern seaboard of the United States expected the weather system known as Ana to develop in early May this year. While it didn’t develop into a major hurricane, it was evidence that Mother Nature is well equipped to deliver a heavy blow at any point in time. As I have said before, we mere mortals affix a time for hurricane season between 1 June and the end of November each month; weather systems, especially hurricanes, are no respecter of calendars.
As such, we should always be on our guard.
We can now count 11 years since the passing of Hurricane Ivan in September of 2004. That storm caught us off guard because we had become complacent. Loss of life was minimal, but destruction to our homes, businesses and infrastructure was vast. We were, frankly, caught off guard.
That is why I urge everyone – despite the predictions of weather prognosticators – to be prepared.
I beg you to stock up on fresh hurricane supplies and have plans in place for evacuations whether you decide to stay on Island or leave. And if you do decide to stay home, please ensure that your home is a safe place to remain as you ride out any storm.
Annual hurricane predictions are merely a best estimate of expected hurricane activity in the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.
Many of you were here to experience the wrath of Hurricane Ivan. Personally, it was one of the most horrific events of my life and one I hope to never go through again.
If you were here, I hope you remember the storm as it barreled down on us and the after effects. If you didn’t experience Ivan or are new to the Islands, please talk to someone who has lived through the ravages of a hurricane and get prepared.
If a storm is approaching our beloved Cayman Islands, please pay attention to Government announcements and bulletins, which will be available on Radio Cayman and its sister, station the Breeze as well as Cayman Islands Government Television. Many private media houses will also carry updated messages and bulletins as they work in conjunction with Hazard Management Cayman Islands.
Most of all be prepared, have a plan and join me in my prayer that God will once again spare these Islands in this upcoming Hurricane Season.