Director of the Meteorological Service Branch (Met Service), Evan Thompson, says the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season is expected to be active but the entity is ready and prepared to keep Jamaicans informed during this period.
“We want to assure you that the information you receive from the Met Service will be of the highest quality and, of course, serves the best interest in keeping us informed at all times,” said Thompson.
These statements were made at the National Disaster Risk Management Council’s Virtual meeting yesterday, to mark the start of the June one hurricane season.
Thompson also stated that the forecast predicted the development of 13 to 20 tropical storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes and three to five developing into major hurricanes of category three, four or five.
He strongly urges Jamaicans to brace themselves for this active season by making the necessary preparations for the hurricane season which officially ends on November 30, 2021.
“Of course, the activity of a season does not indicate whether we should prepare ourselves. In a very active season there is the possibility of us not being impacted as was the case in 2020 or 2019,” he stated.
The director further stressed the importance of being prepared for a hurricane season whether the season is forecasted as active or inactive.
“However we cannot take any comfort in that because in a very inactive hurricane season, we could be hit by one hurricane that [causes significant damage] to Jamaica and so we have to always be prepared regardless of the activity that is projected for a hurricane season. The main message is to be prepared,” expressed Thompson.
He also highlighted that “we [already] have had one tropical cyclone, Ana, having developed and that has almost become a norm in recent years, where we are seeing at least one or two tropical cyclones developing prior to the start of the hurricane season,” he noted.
As part of the preparedness measures, Thompson stated that the Met Service will carry out a simulation exercise within the first 15 days of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
Writer- Natasha Williams