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Breaking News / Hurricane Season / News / Virgin Islands / Weather / September 6, 2019

A new system currently producing a small area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms is expected to develop into a tropical depression early next week, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5:00 a.m. advisory.

While little to no development is expected in the next couple of days, “environmental conditions are expected to become (conducive) for a tropical depression to form early next week while the system moves westward across the tropical Atlantic Ocean,” N.H.C. said.

On its current track, the storm, if further development occurs as N.H.C. expects, could impact a number of Caribbean islands, including the USVI. The strength at which the islands would be impacted is not certain.

On Tuesday, N.H.C. said the system had a 60 percent chance of development through five days — which would be by Sunday. Today, however, the chances of development by next week has increased to 70 percent, N.H.C. said, while it gave the storm a 20 percent chance of development within the next 48 hours.

The storms are developing rapidly because the hurricane season is at its peak.

On August 8, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration increased its forecast for this hurricane season being above normal. Seasonal forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center increased the likelihood of an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season to 45 percent (up from 30 percent from the outlook issued in May). The likelihood of near-normal activity is now at 35 percent, and the chance of below-normal activity has dropped to 20 percent, NOAA said.

The number of predicted storms is also greater, with NOAA expecting 10-17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or greater), of which 5-9 will become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or greater), including 2-4 major hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or greater). This updated outlook is for the entire six-month hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30. 

NOAA also announced that the El Nino in the Pacific Ocean ended in August and neutral conditions have returned. “El Nino typically suppresses Atlantic hurricane activity but now that it’s gone, we could see a busier season ahead,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “This evolution, combined with the more conducive conditions associated with the ongoing high-activity era for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995, increases the likelihood of above-normal activity this year.”

On average, the Atlantic hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. NOAA’s hurricane season outlook is for overall seasonal activity and is not a landfall forecast. Landfalls are largely determined by short-term weather patterns, which are only predictable within about a week of a storm potentially reaching a coastline.

Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected].

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Man Found Dead On Sion Farm Road Near Lew Muckle School; Cause Of Death Unknown

ST. CROIX -- On Thursday, as Virgin Islanders on St. Croix were headed to work, and parents whose children attend classes...

September 6, 2019