St. Clair Sazam Hull
(CHARLESTOWN NEVIS)- Sunday, June 1, 2014, marked the start of the 2014 hurricane season. The season runs annually from June 1 to November 30.
According to NOAA, the names given to the storms for 2014 are, ‘Arthur, Bertha, Chistobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred’.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) also indicated that there is a 70 percent chance the Atlantic will see eight (8) to thirteen (13) of those named storms this year, of which three(3) to six (6) will build into hurricanes, including thee (3) major hurricanes.
A ‘named storm’ has winds of at least 39 mph; a ‘hurricane’ has winds of 74 mph and a ‘major hurricane’ has winds in excess of 111 mph.
This upcoming September, marks twenty-five (25) years, since the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis and other Caribbean islands were devastated by ‘Hurricane Hugo’ in 1989.
It has been nineteen (19) years, since the historic 1995 hurricane season when we were affected by two hurricanes, ‘Luis and Marilyn’. Since then, we have witnessed three more hurricanes, ‘George’, ‘Lenny’ and ‘Omar’.
Some storms were so devastating that their allocated names had to be retired. According to www.almanac.com, the deadliest storm to have had its name retired was ‘Hurricane Mitch’, which caused over 10, 000 fatalities when it struck Central America during October 1998. Others to have had their names retired include ‘Agnes, Alicia, Allen, Allison, Betsy, Bob, Camille, Fabian and Katrina’.
The peak of the season is usually late summer and early fall. Residents are urged to take precautions. The importance of this has been stressed by the local disaster management office, since it has been indicated that after a hurricane, persons who had a plan did better than persons without a plan.