The Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO), Velda Joseph, has urged Saint Lucians to prepare for the ‘worst case scenario’ during the current Atlantic Hurricane season.
Joseph spoke against the backdrop of revised predictions for the season.
“That revision really reflects a nudge upwards,” she noted.
However the NEMO Director asserted that regardless of what the predictions are, Saint Lucians need to always be prepared.
“We want to let the public know that it just takes one hurricane, one landfall to make it a very active season for us and so no matter what the predictions are, what is important is for persons to prepare themselves for the worst case scenario,” she stated.
Joseph observed that Colorado State University is now predicting 16 named storms, eight of which could become hurricanes and three likely to become major hurricanes.
The NEMO Director recalled that in April this year when the first forecast was out, it predicted 11 named storms and 4 hurricanes, two of which could become major hurricanes.
She said the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also revised its prediction to forecast between 14 and 19 named storms and 5 to 9 hurricanes, of which 2 to 3 could become major hurricanes.
Joseph explained that scientists have given two reasons for the upgraded prediction – the warm waters in the tropical and sub-tropical Atlantic and a dwindling chance of El Nino.
“I am sure that persons monitoring the weather would know that we have a series of tropical waves coming our way – we were threatened a bit by tropical storm Don and so what it means for us again is that we have a forecast for an active season and so we need to ensure that we complete our plans if we have not done so,” the NEMO Director said.