Hurricane season over

And this was the first such season since 1994 that ended with no known major hurricanes. The season began on 1st June and ended on 30th November.

The first storm of the season, Andrea, developed on June 5, while the final cyclone, Melissa, dissipated on November 22. Throughout the year, only two hurricanes – Humberto and Ingrid – reached hurricane intensity; this was the lowest seasonal total since 1983.

Tropical Storm Andrea in early June killed 4 after making landfall in Florida and moving up the United States East Coast. In early July, Tropical Storm Chantal moved through the Leeward Islands, killing 1 and setting a record for the quickest-moving tropical cyclone in the deep tropics on record. Tropical storms Dorian and Erin, and Hurricane Humberto, all brought squally weather but limited impact to the Cape Verde Islands.

Particularly hit was Mexico, where tropical storms Barry, Fernand, Tropical Depression Eight, and Hurricane Ingrid all made landfall. In early October, Karen brought showers and gusty winds to the central Gulf Coast. A month later, Melissa passed near the Azores with similar effects.

All major forecasting agencies predicted an above-average season. On April 10, Colorado State University (CSU) forecast 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. On May 23, NOAA predicted a range of 13 to 20 named storms, 7 to 11 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 major hurricanes. Following less activity than forecast, both agencies reduced their seasonal predictions in early August; CSU predicted 18 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes, while NOAA called for 13 to 19 named storms, 6 to 9 hurricanes, and 3 to 5 major hurricanes.

Despite the revisions, activity remained far below predictions, at 13 named storms, 2 hurricanes, and 0 major hurricanes. On November 29, Dr. Phil Klotzbach of CSU noted that, “(Dr. Gray and I) have been doing these forecasts for 30 years and that’s probably the biggest forecast bust that we’ve had so, obviously, that’s obviously not a great feeling.”


Hurricane Season Over

The National Disaster Coordinator, himself, is expressing thanks to NEMA Volunteers, stakeholders and the entire Nation, for the support and confidence placed in the Disaster Management Organisation, which he represents, throughout this year.

Mr. Herbert insists that it is because of the various collaborations between NEMA and a combination of private and public sector arrangements, that he and his team are able to serve the local community in a consistent and professional manner.

“I give thanks for the contributions of all of our partners in serving our Nation,” Mr. Herbert says, “but especially to our Creator, who has spared us during the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season, from major disruptions and harm.”

To this end, NEMA’s annual call is being sounded to encourage all religious and social organisations to include a special tribute to the Most High for His protection during the Hurricane Season, in upcoming services. “At a time when recovery and rehabilitation is challenged by scarce financial and other resources, saying thank you for being spared impact is extremely purposeful,” he said.

This is especially true, as the NDC quickly warns the Nation not to let their guard down, even as the season ends on November 30th.

It is true that disasters do not always result from tropical cyclones alone, which incidentally can and have occurred outside of the accepted parameters of the season, in the past. “In our region, we are plagued by a number of hazards such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and the usual suspects such as fires and landslides,” Herbert said. “So our best defence is to remain vigilant and by monitoring local media for incident alerts and updates.”

Volunteers, members of the public and private sectors are invited along with other residents of St. Kitts and Nevis, to take part in thanksgiving in their respective communities around the islands, on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December, 2012, as part of NEMA’s appeal to celebrate a safe 2012 hurricane season.

NEMA also takes this opportunity to wish the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis a secure and enjoyable Christmas and Carnival and a prosperous and peaceful 2013.


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