Good planning is essential in limiting loss of life & property!

The 2010 hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin (North Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico) by now has been underway for two weeks (since June 1) and will end officially on November 30. 

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As is already well known, this year will be much more active than last year. Outlooks by both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the Colorado State University indicate that the 2010 hurricane season will be a busy period. Expressed in percentages, this hurricane season is expected to be 95% more active than average. Since 1949, there have been four years with similar conditions: 1958, 1966, 1969 and 2005. Most people still remember easily how busy 2005 was, with notorious hurricanes like Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

These forecasts are based on the sea water temperature in the tropical sections of both the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. The El Niño phenomenon (warmer than normal sea water) in the Pacific Ocean last year suppressed tropical cyclone activity over the Atlantic Basin, due to strong westerly upper-level winds that it induced. This phenomenon has vanished in the meantime and the upper-level winds over the Atlantic Basin are now much lighter. In addition to that, the sea surface temperature is higher than normal in both the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. These two developments are the main reason why this season is threatening to become more active than normal in this region. The expected rainfall over our region will also be higher than average, because of these developments.

Because of the fact that an active season is anticipated, it is advised to start taking the necessary preparations and precautions in cooperation with local authorities, in case watches and warnings have to be issued. People are advised to consult the phone directory so they know what to do, in case a tropical storm or hurricane threatens our islands. It has to be said that these forecasts by no means indicate when and where the expected systems will develop nor how these will move.

As is usually the case, the Meteorological Service of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba (MDNAA) will monitor the development of these systems and other inclement weather situations, which threaten both the ABC and the SSS Islands, closely. In case it’s necessary, Special Bulletins will be issued for severe weather events. When watches or warnings have to be issued for tropical cyclones, this will occur in close coordination with the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, which is a so-called Regional Specialized Meteorological Center of the World Meteorological Organization.

Product changes for the 2010 hurricane season:

· During the meeting of the RA IV Hurricane Committee (directors of national meteorological services in our

region) earlier this year, the following decisions were taken:

o Starting this year, the National Hurricane Center will issue a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch, in case

a tropical storm or hurricane has a chance to hit a particular region within 48 hours (was 36 hours).

o A Tropical Storm or Hurricane Warning will be issued when a certain region is expected to be hit by a

tropical storm or hurricane within 36 hours (was 24 hours).

· In the advisories issued by the Meteorological Service, the emphasis will be put on the effect of a certain

tropical cyclone on local conditions.

Good to remember:

· The issuance of a monthly review, which was introduced last year, will be continued this year.

· People are reminded that the latest weather forecast or watch/warning bulletin can be downloaded on their cell

phone through

· Please read more about tropical cyclones in our islands in the brochures called Guide on the Tropical Cyclone

Early Warning System for the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba and Hurricanes and Tropical Storms in the

Netherlands Antilles and Aruba which can be found on our web site (

At the national level, the Meteorological Service will coordinate with island disaster management authorities to make

the general public aware of the hazards connected to these systems. This will allow them to take better precautions.