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BVI Hurricane Season

If dockside gossip is to be believed, this year is going to be a record breaker in the hurricane category. Perhaps it is a feeling that we are beyond due for a significant landfall event, since dark mutterings were being offered even before the issuance of this year's annual Hurricane Season Outlook prepared by the US National Weather Service.

This report has done nothing to quash the negative predictions. Quite the contrary, as the Outlook boldly forecasts a highly active hurricane season, with 14-23 named storms and a resulting 8-14 hurricanes and 3-7 major hurricanes.

The report quite wisely states that “It only takes one storm hitting your area to cause a disaster, regardless of the activity predicted in the seasonal outlook.” Consequently, it is incumbent upon all boat owners and those responsible for the well-being of boats to take proper precautions against hurricane and other storm damage. But those precautions are necessary regardless of the predictions made at the beginning of the season. If past years are anything to go by, the predictions will be significantly at variance from the final numbers. But “it only takes one” ought to be the operating mantra for the preparation of hurricane defences.

 

Much of the evidence for the dramatic claims for hurricane activity is derived from anomalous weather behaviour—such as diminished trade wind activity and a spike in Sea Surface Temperatures. “Record warm SSTs are now present in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, with departures exceeding +1.5oC nearly everywhere east of the Caribbean Islands,” says the report, which goes on to say “this  is much larger than the previous record departure of +0.95oC seen in 1958. This warmth is much larger than anywhere else in the global tropics.”

Some years ago, whilst on a delivery south along the east coast of the US, we had to pull in to the intra-coastal waterway for a bit. Anchoring one afternoon in a particularly dark and murky creek, we decided we needed a swim to help alleviate the broiling heat of the day. Together the three of us crew jumped into the tannin-stained water and happily splashed about. Eventually one of us wondered, “What do they call this place, anyway?”

“Alligator river,” was the reply.

Silence prevailed for a moment or two, then together we shouted “Alligator River???!!” as we thrashed our way to the swim ladder. A similar response might be called for every June, when the question is asked “What do they call this season, anyway?”

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And the answer comes, “Hurricane Season.” Time to get busy.  

The full report can be found here:
http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/outlooks/hurricane.shtml

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