PM appeals to nation to prepare for start of above average hurricane season on 1st June

Minister of National Security, Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew, is appealing to the country to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the start of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane season which begins on 1st June. 

His plea for readiness is all the more urgent as an above average season is predicted. 

Dr. Drew said the predictions for the 2024 season are evidence of the negative impact of climate change.

“This year is going to be as active as it is going to be because of climate change. This year we will see an increase in the number of storms and severity of the storms. We know that the season starts June 1st, but we also know that we started seeing the conditions for adverse weather effects in May as a result of climate change and El Niño…and so I want to urge our people to prepare,” said the prime minister during his Roundtable media conference.

The prime minister confirmed that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the Nevis Disaster Management Department (NDMD) are fully prepared for the start of the hurricane season. He also indicated that drills within these agencies, as well as others that will involve the public, will take place to ensure the “institutional memory” of the nation if faced with a disaster.

Scientists have predicted that this season will be unusually active. On 23rd May, 2024, the US based National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an 85 percent chance of an above-normal season.

“NOAA is forecasting a range of 17 to 25 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, 8 to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 4 to 7 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). Forecasters have a 70% confidence in these ranges,” a NOAA press release said.

“The upcoming Atlantic hurricane season is expected to have above-normal activity due to a confluence of factors, including near-record warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, development of La Nina conditions in the Pacific, reduced Atlantic trade winds and less wind shear, all of which tend to favour tropical storm formation,” it continued.

It is customary for the prime minister to deliver an address to the nation at the start of the hurricane season each year. Prime Minister Drew will deliver tomorrow’s address at 7:00am. His speech will be broadcast on ZIZ Radio and Television. It will be streamed simultaneously on the Facebook and YouTube pages of the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS).


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