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BERMUDA | RSS PODCAST

It could be better, it could be worse, nobody knows, so be prepared

Early weather forecasts are predicting warmer water in the tropical Atlantic will lead to a busier than average hurricane season this year.

However, meteorologists do not believe the season will be as active as 2012, when a total of 19 named storms were recorded.

James Dodgson, Deputy Director of the Bermuda Weather Service, said yesterday that the service typically follows the forecast of the National Hurricane Centre, which is expected to release its forecast next week.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, on average the Atlantic experiences 12 names storms, six of which reach hurricane strength. Other reputable sources, such as Colorado State University, are predicting an above average season with 18 named storms, nine of which are forecast to reach hurricane strength.

Regardless of the forecast, Mr Dodgson emphasised that it only takes one storm to cause devastation, making it vital to be prepared.

“The main thing to focus on for the Island community of Bermuda, is not the predicted number, but to always be prepared whatever the forecast is for the impending season,” Mr Dodgson said. “It only takes one tropical storm or hurricane to have a significant impact on Bermuda.

“The forecast could be very active, but Bermuda might escape the season without any significant tropical storm/hurricane impacts. On the other hand, it could be very quiet seasonal forecast, and the one tropical system that does develop, strengthens into a hurricane and has a significant impact on the Island of Bermuda.”

Along with the warmer waters, forecasters are predicting a lack of El Nino conditions, which typically creates vertical wind shear in the Atlantic, disrupting the development of hurricanes.

Mr Dodgeson explained that the lack of El Nino means little vertical shear in the tropical Atlantic, which therefore enables tropical cyclones to develop unhindered.

Other early forecasts have predicted similar results. Researchers at North Carolina State University predict between 13 and 17 named storms with seven to ten hurricanes, and The Weather Channel has forecast 16 named storms, nine of which will become hurricanes.

Storm: It's that time of year again

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Published May 17, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 17, 2013 at 12:01 am)

It could be better, it could be worse, nobody knows, so be prepared

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