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2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season starts today June 1

- Public urged to be Hurricane SMART!
The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts today June 1, 2016 and ends on November 30, 2016. Photo: environment.nationalgeographic.com
The 2016 hurricane awareness campaign by the Department of Disaster Management calls on the Virgin Islands to 'Be Hurricane SMART'. Photo: bviddm
The 2016 hurricane awareness campaign by the Department of Disaster Management calls on the Virgin Islands to 'Be Hurricane SMART'. Photo: bviddm
Damage to the coastal highway, seawall and yachts at Road Town, Tortola due to Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Photo: unesco.org
Damage to the coastal highway, seawall and yachts at Road Town, Tortola due to Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Photo: unesco.org
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially starts today June 1, 2016 and ends on November 30, 2016.

And once again the territory will hope it is spared the wrath of hurricanes as has been the case of recent.

According to the Department of Disaster Management website, predictions for the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season have been difficult for forecasters to make due to uncertainty in the climate signals that influence the formation of Atlantic storms.

“However, forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have said a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year.”

The forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms of which 4 to 8 could become hurricanes, including 1 to 4 major hurricanes.

Although a near-normal season is most likely with a 45 percent chance, the forecasters have said there is also a 30 percent chance of an above-normal season and a 25 percent chance of a below-normal season.

The website also noted that it is not uncommon to have storm/hurricane activity outside the period considered the hurricane season. Hurricane Alex, which has been included in the 2016 Hurricane outlook was formed in January.

Notable hurricanes that have affected the Virgin Islands include Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricanes Louis and Marilyn in 1995 and Hurricane Otto in 2010.

Be Hurricane SMART!

Premier Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith, in his message to the Virgin Islands regarding the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season, said as with the past years his continued prayer is that the territory will be spared of any impact.

He added, however, that what is always crucial for the territory is preparedness.

“The 2016 hurricane awareness campaign by the Department of Disaster Management calls on all of us to Be Hurricane SMART because It only takes one! Preparedness is vital every hurricane season regardless of the level of activity. However, while the hurricane forecasts predictions released may not agree on the number of storms this season they all have one common factor—this season is likely to be more active than the 2015 Hurricane season. Additionally, some forecasters have predicted that this season could be the most active hurricane season since 2012.”

Premier Smith added that since weather forecasting is not an exact science, it is advised that the territory exercise caution and do all that it can to prepare.

“I encourage individuals and families to be prepared but I also want to urge the public and private sector organisations to see the importance of business continuity management as part of a proactive process to strengthen the resilience of their organisations.”

Meanwhile, Governor John S. Duncan OBE has also advised that the territory makes preparedness a priority.

“I know the last few hurricane seasons have been low key, with little to no impact on the territory, but I am encouraging you not to use this as a measure to determine your level of preparedness,” Governor Duncan said.

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