Hurricane season passes without direct hit
The 2018 hurricane season has come to an end, with Bermuda escaping any direct impacts for the second consecutive year.
James Dodgson, the director of the Bermuda Weather Service, said the area around the island has been “relatively” quiet this year, with no sustained tropical storm force winds reported.
However, Bermuda’s shoreline did feel some of the effects from passing storms.
Mr Dodgson said: “Distant tropical cyclones did generate some locally significant ocean swells, as well as elevated surf and rip currents, especially along our South Shore beaches.
“In fact, if you were down at Elbow Beach after the relatively recent passage of Hurricane Oscar, you would have noticed some very significant beach erosion, especially towards the eastern end of the public beach. Several feet of sand were eroded away, leaving underlying rock exposed.”
The 2018 hurricane season ended on Saturday.
There were 15 named storms over the course of the season, with eight reaching hurricane strength and two becoming “major” hurricanes.
Hurricanes Florence and Michael caused significant damage in the southeastern US but Mr Dodgson said that, unlike 2017, the Caribbean avoided any major impacts.
He said: “This was due to plenty of wind shear in that area, which can at least partially be attributed to a developing El Niño — as highlighted in some of the long-range seasonal forecasts.
“The fact that Bermuda did not have any direct impacts this season is largely down to natural climate variability.
“This season, we were mostly protected by the Bermuda side of the Bermuda-Azores ridge of high pressure, and even that only kept some significant hurricanes around 400 miles away from us.”
Mr Dodgson added: “Tropical cyclones can affect our area outside of hurricane season, but if we do get any tropical impacts outside of the season, the systems are more typically subtropical in nature.”
He said residents should remember to be cautious as even a slow hurricane season can have devastating consequences.
Mr Dodgson said: “Whatever the long-range forecasts might be, it is always imperative to be prepared.”
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