Three days before official start of 2012 Atlantic hurricane season;

Disaster Coordinator Salomon says be preparedDisaster Coordinator/Fire Chief Winston Salomon is calling on the Sint Maarten community to be prepared for the hurricane season with three-days left to go before the start of the season.


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Salomon is calling on the Sint Maarten community to make sure they have plans in place for the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, which has already seen the birth of two tropical storms (Alberto, Beryl) even before the June 1st official start of the season.

The second named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season made landfall after midnight on Monday in Florida bringing rain and gusts up to near hurricane force.

Beryl was downgraded on Monday to a tropical depression, but before that it brought heavy rain and outages (23,000 households left without power in the states of Florida and Georgia) as it hit the South-Eastern coast of the U.S.

Colorado State University hurricane team Phil Klotzbach and William Gray in early April forecasted reduced activity for the hurricane season with 10 named storms, of which four will become hurricanes, and two of those will become major hurricanes with over 111 miles per hour winds.

Since that forecast, the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the parent body of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) out of Miami, Florida, last week Thursday issued their own forecasts predicting a near-normal 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.

This revised forecasts has to do with conditions in the atmosphere and the ocean favoring a near-normal season entails nine to 15 named storms, of which four to eight can strengthen to become hurricanes, and of those one to three can become major hurricanes.

Based on the period 1981-2010, an average season produces 12 named storms with six hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

The remaining names of potential storms for the 2012 season are: Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie and William.

The 2012 hurricane season officially runs through November 30.