BELIZE CITY, Tues. June 1, 2021– Today marks the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Climatologists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict yet another above-average hurricane season — although, fortunately, it is not expected to be as active as the 2020 season.
Last year, in Belize, we saw historic floods resulting from extended periods of rain caused by the major storms that made a direct impact on our neighbors in Latin America, as well as Hurricane Nana.
This year NOAA is predicting at least 13-20 named storms, 6 to 10 of which could become hurricanes, with winds 74 mph and higher. Five of those may become major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph, and higher. NOAA has said that it is 70% confident in its predictions.
“Predicted warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds, and an enhanced West African monsoon will likely be factors in this year’s overall activity,” a release from NOAA stated.
Belize lies in the Atlantic Basin, making us more vulnerable to impact from a major storm.
Both Belize’s national government and its municipal bodies have developed action plans to ensure a coordinated response in the event of a storm hitting the country. They are also urging families to create a plan to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Residents in coastal areas are asked to take additional measures to ensure their safety and reduce the loss of property.
Twenty-one storms are predicted and have been named.