The Hurricane Season officially runs from June 1 to November 30 and is the period of the year when hurricanes usually forms in the Atlantic Ocean.
Planning for Hurricanes requires considering all likely scenarios that could result when things that you rely on daily-like electricity, water, heat, air conditioning, telephone service and transportation are disrupted or lost for a considerable amount of time.
Therefore, you should plan on having food, water and other essentials to get you through the emergency. Most emergency management planners suggest having enough supplies for three to five days for weather-related events. However, many things may impact your decision, including storage space, special needs, and number of people in the household and available resources.
Every year Saint Vincent and the Grenadines faces the risk of hurricanes hitting our shores which have the potential to cause catastrophic damage as we have seen over the years from hurricanes such as Ivan in 2004 and Thomas in 2010 . Hurricane can produce winds exceeding 155 miles per hour as well as tornadoes and mircrobursts. Additionally, hurricanes can create storm surges along the coast and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall. Floods and flying debris from the excessive winds are often the deadly and destructive results of these weather events. Slow moving hurricanes traveling into mountainous regions tend to produce especially heavy rain. Excessive rain can trigger landslides or mud slides. Flash flooding can occur due to intense rainfall.
Being properly prepared and knowing what to do in the event of a hurricane can make all the difference.
Hurricanes are tropical cyclones - storms that rotate counter clockwise with wind speeds in excess of 74 mph (kmh). Most hurricanes form over warm seas near the equator. They are created when the sun heats the ocean surface, causing heated water vapor to rise, condense and form clouds. These clouds begin to spiral as the earth rotates causing air to be pulled underneath and a large vortex is formed.
They form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. A tropical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth's surface
On average, six (6) Atlantic hurricanes develop each year. When a hurricane moves toward populated coastal areas it often causes severe damage. Strong winds create storm surges, floods, and even spawn tornadoes. As the hurricane moves forward, its right front quadrant is typically where the most devastation occurs.
Over land, hurricanes lose their strength as the heated water that sustains it is no longer available to support it.
Hurricanes are strong storms that cause life and property threatening hazards such as flooding, storm surge, high winds and tornadoes. Preparation is the best protection against the dangers of a hurricane
Hurricane season is June 1 - November 30. There is typically more rain during this period, even if a hurricane does not develop.
A hurricane watch issued for St. Vincent and the Grenadines indicates the possibility that our area may experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours. This watch should trigger your family's disaster plan, and protective measures should be initiated.
Hurricanes develop over warm tropical waters. Hurricanes begin to form as damp air rises from the surface of warm tropical seas. The sun heats the air and, as the air rises, there is a powerful updraft. This cools and turns into rain. The updraft is kept fueled as more hot moist air rises. The movement of the earth in an eastwardly direction pushes the moist air currents to one side resulting in hurricanes moving in a counter-clockwise direction.
Click on the link below for more information on how hurricanes are formed:
What are the phases of hurricane development?
A potential hurricane goes through four basic phases before it attains hurricane strength.
Phase 1 - Tropical Disturbance: A system in the trade wind easterlies which gives rise to a discrete area of cloudiness with embedded showers and thunder storms.
Phase 2 - Tropical depression:This system has definite counter-clockwise wind circulation in which maximum sustained surface wind is less than 61 km/h (38 mph).
Phase 3 - Tropical Storm: This phase immediately precedes the hurricane. Tropical storms are systems with definite counter-clockwise wind circulation in which the maximum sustained surface wind is greater than 61 km/h (38 mph) but less than 119 km/h (74 mph). It is at this stage the storm is given a name.
Phase 4 Hurricane:The final stage is the hurricane, with maximum wind speed of 119 km/h (74 mph) and over. The system is now mature and the eye is well defined. If atmospheric conditions are right, it can strengthen. This system has definite counter-clockwise wind circulation in which maximum sustained surface wind is less than 61 km/h (38 mph).
- Seek medical attention at first-aid stations, hospitals or clinics for persons injured during the storm.
- Do not touch loose or dangling electrical wires. Report these to the power company, the nearest police station or parish council. Report all broken sewer or water mains directly to the parish council, the public works department or water resources authority for your area.