[stormCARIB - Caribbean Hurricane Network'

Caribbean Hurricane Network

- Updates from the Islands -
2000: Alberto through Helene

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Archive of weather discussions and eye witness reports from the Caribbean Islands in the 2000 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Postings are in reverse chronological order (so it might be easier to start reading at the bottom of this page and work your way up to follow the timeline). For current events look here.

December 1, 2000 13:00EST - The END! - Looking back...
[Baby Lovebirds - Picture taken by Martha Watkins Gilkes, Antigua]And the 2000 Atlantic hurricane season is officially over!! To recap the season let's start with John Fuller of Antigua's first report, a sour reminder of last year's season...: "june-too soon; july-standby; august-come they must; september-remember; october-all over?; lenny lied."

The biggest story for the islands was Debbie. Since it seemed that Debbie was taking a similar path as Georges back in 1998, the islands took notice and were well prepared. Although not everything is perfect yet, as SuperDave (the new TV2 weatherman!) from St. Thomas writes "The local radio stations are a different matter. The same forecast is heard on several stations for up to 6 hour periods and this is very misleading. To their credit, they have been speaking about specific coordinates of storms; something that hasn't happened before." Some put plywood for the windows like Liane on Tortola: "I am a happy camper now all snug in my hot, sweaty, boarded up cell."

Although Debbie had the potential to be a mean storm, it was more a anti-climax. I was actually on Tortola at that time and the 'eye' went over us. Yes indeed, I was island hopping during the 'height' of hurricane season and I had the honor to personally meet some of my correspondents on St. Thomas, Tortola and St. Maarten. Thanks SuperDave for taking my spot while I was gone. Anyway Happy Man reports from the Turks & Caicos: "Well, you've heard the expression: "Suppose you held a party but nobody came?" [...] So here we sit with our party hats, balloons, streamers, and a huge cake, all the while truly hoping our uninvited guest chooses to vanish into thin vapor. And unless She makes that sharp right turn, we'll just save the party equipment for another day." Rafa://puerto rico who as usual is "well stocked up with black and white cookies at 18.45N, 66.08W" on Puerto Rico asks "Does anyone have a idea of what to do with sausage and corned beef? Maybe I'll mix it with Renacujo's cat food." Linda M. Baxter of St. Croix is a little disappointed about the lack of excitement: "I am still waiting for more rain. My pool sure could use it after the pool party on Saturday!".

The most unusual storm this year was Joyce. She looked like one of those typical Cape Verde storm, coming straight for the islands, like Luis in 1995. Landfall was inevitable, but where? As John Fuller (Antigua) reports: "will she go for the bananas down south or for the bamboo up here?". Well, she went way south which is seen rarely. Robert Krucia (Trinidad & Tobago) "I always thought of us as living on the sidewalk of hurricane alley, well, here comes a drunken driver all over the sidewalk. Lets see what she does." But John Fuller, who is using the boys in the back room as his barometer, was right: "the boys say that joyce is wearing a flimsy dress and she is nothing but skin and bone." Joyce fell apart before it reached the islands!

Just before Joyce we had another storm which stayed nicely out at sea, Isaac. This storm could have been 'the big one', but Happy Man (TCI) was not impressed: "A "Full Hurricane?" You want to be labeled a "Full Hurricane?" Why is that, Mr. Isaac, I humbly ask. [...] Did that High School blonde bombshell reject your invitation to attend the annual "Big Wind Hop?" Well I don't blame her. After all, you are indeed "Full of hot air!"", and luckily "meanwhile back at dodge(ing) city the boys in the backroom say that that desperado "big issy" knows better than to mess around with us,so he took the right fork at the pass and seems as if he'll end up north of the border." (John Fuller).

Unfortunately there was one big one, Keith. This Category 4 Hurricane made landfall in Belize and also affected Nicaragua heavily. Fortunately we hear soon after the storm from Sylvia in Belize: "First of all DON'T freak out at the look of the satellites. It is NOT as bad as it looks. Somebody please tell CNN that - some CNN correspondent talked about the devastation they assumed was happening in Belize, and we are REALLY afraid that will hurt the tourist business. Belize is not being devastated by this hurricane. There have been no reports of loss of life on the radio, and even one of the islands has been checking in periodically to say "we're all fine"." The islands off Belize were hit very hard. But recovery is quick. Marty (ambergriscaye.com) writes me that "all in all, San Pedro is doing it again - fortunately, what they do best - coming together in a crisis and proving to the world that you can't keep a good island down!." Read more on the recovery on the Belize page.

My hurricane correspondents did a great job again. And getting more inventive every year. Take Prof. Peter 'Pass the Hammer and Nails' Crane of Nevis who has at "considerable expense [...] procured and commisioned a high technologyAnalogue Precipitation Indication Gauge (A PIG)." This device (sorry, patent applied for) "is cunningly disguised as a plastic bottle with the top cut off!" Despite these technological advances life on the islands during hurricane season can be stressful as Prof. Peter 'Kicking' Crane asks "I'm still stressed out. Does anyone know how to attach a short length of rope to a beam?". Well, a lot of people gave him helpful hints. But what do you expect as Prof. Peter 'Arithmetically Challenged' Crane reports: "We had a heavy shower today and got about 1 million tons falling on Nevis."

On hurricanes & island Life, Cynthia from Tortola ("2000 miles from reality and where only hurricanes and hangovers make the difference!!!") wonders "what fish do for a hurricane, go out to sea? Do they group together and have big parties like us, during the storms?"

[Four waterspouts, St.Thomas.  Picture taken by ???]Since it was a quiet season, except for partypooper Keith, Martha (Antigua) found other things to report about, like "here's some excitement from our little corner of the world....... guess it cant get too quiet down here..... it seems to be hurricanes, earthquakes or volcanoes!!! i thought this was one that might wake up the BOYS IN THE BACK room..... and would expect them to give you the run down... but maybe they had a late night poker game!!". Yes, three earthquakes!!! Looking at the feedback I have received one of the most exciting happenings this season were Martha's baby lovebirds, the Hurricane Georges Survivors (picture above)! One of the most amazing pictures send by the correspondents was the one with 4 waterspouts (not hurricane related) on St.Thomas: "I said wow, too!" (RonUSVI).

So.... thanks again hurricane correspondents on the islands! Hurricanes are intriguing and can be beautiful: "john harris the clockmaker couldn't design anything more naturally symetrical." (John Fuller). This year we had 14 named storms, of which 8 hurricanes. Although hurricane activity was 34% above normal the islands got a well deserved break! We don't mind the occasional hurricane, as long as they stay out at sea! Also thanks to GoBeach Vacations (gobeach.com), your Caribbean accommodation specialist, for supporting the Caribbean Hurricane Network, despite the considerable expense involved with running a high-traffic website like this and probable conflict of interest. Please, support our sponsor by booking your next Caribbean vacation through them. So see you next year... Oh wait, December 8 Dr. Gray will publish it's first statistical forecast for the 2001 season. So see you next week!

Featured on this page:
| Alberto | Beryl | Chris | Debby | Ernesto | Florence | Gordon | Helene |
Isaac, Joyce, Keith, Leslie, Michael and Nadine can be found on a separate page.

The heart of the Caribbean Hurricane Network are the personal reports send in by the special hurricane correspondents on the islands. Find out what happened on your favority island during the 2000 Hurricane Season by following the links below.

- - - Helene - - -
For the latest NHC advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator


September 21, 2000 14:30EDT - Helene
Tropical Depression Number 12 is upgraded to Tropical Storm Helene. Right now it is in the Gulf of Mexico, not threathening any Caribbean Island. Unfortunately since this website is focussed solely on the Caribbean we will not really cover this storm. There are many other excellent websites covering the US. Links to the latest advisories and satellite images can be found on at our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator.

September 19, 2000 19:55EDT - It's back!
"After extensive investigation" the Hurricane Hunters found a closed low-level circulation, so this big blob of clouds has been reclassified as a tropical depression. Still it is not expected to become a major player, other then dumping a lot of rain on the Islands. The center is currently located just (60m) northeast of Grand Cayman, and moving west northwest. A tropical storm warning might be issued later for western Cuba.

September 18, 2000 22:15EDT - The Wave formerly known as TD#12
Officially it's not a tropical cyclone anymore, but the strong tropical wave, the 'remnants of tropical depression twelve' is causing some problems on the islands. The tropical outlook reports the following, so be alert:

     SATELLITE IMAGES SHOWS THAT THE WAVE REMAINS WELL
     ORGANIZED.  UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT...AND A
     TROPICAL DEPRESSION COULD FORM DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO.  LOCALLY
     HEAVY RAINS AND STRONG GUSTY WINDS OVER HISPANIOLA SHOULD SPREAD
     INTO EASTERN CUBA AND JAMAICA TONIGHT AND TUESDAY.  INTERESTS IN
     CUBA...JAMAICA...AND THE CAYMAN ISLANDS SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS
     OF THIS SYSTEM.

September 16, 2000 13:30EDT - This was it?
Hurricane Hunters flew in the storm and couldn't find a closed center of circulation (a 'pre-pre-pre-eye'), a prerequisite to be called a tropical cyclone. So as it is now this system is just a tropical wave. Although when this wave is moving over the islands later today and tomorrow, the islands might experience some wind gusts reaching tropical storm strength. In any case, all tropical storm watches for the islands, which were issued earlier this morning, have been discontinued. Great season so far!

September 15, 2000 17:30EDT - There we go again...
A little bit unexpected, the National Hurricane Center found a tropical depression about 500 miles east of the Islands at 15.6N. Not much to worry about yet. It isn't expected to strengthen quickly. The three day forecast shows that it will move in about 36 hours as a weak tropical storm just north of Guadeloupe. Even in 72 hours this system should not have reached hurricane status. We'll see.

- - - Gordon - - -
For the latest NHC advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator


September 16, 2000 14:05EDT - Almost a hurricane
The intermediate advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center indicates that maximum sustained winds of Gordon are near 70mph, almost hurricane strength. It is expected to make landfall 'somewhere' in Florida in the next 36 hours. Unfortunately since this website is focussed solely on the Caribbean we will not really cover this storm. There are many other excellent websites covering the US. Links to the latest advisories and satellite images can be found on at our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator.

September 14, 2000 10:55EDT - Tropical Depression #11
It looks more then it really is. Over the last couple of days the tropical wave in the western Caribbean looked very impressive. But never a low level circulation was found, a prerequisite to classify it as a tropical drepression. However, just now hurricane hunters did find one, and so we have TD#11.
It is expected to move over land (Yucatan Peninsula) into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. What will happen there is still up in the air.

- - - Florence - - -
For the latest NHC advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator

September 16, 2000 13:55EDT - Almost gone
Florence flew by Bermuda as a hurricane, with it closest point of approach of about 75 mph. I am expecting to receive some updates from my hurricane correspondents on Bermuda soon.

September 14, 2000 11:00EDT - It might move...
Florence, now a tropical storm again, is still more or less in the same place as it was a couple of days ago. But now finally it seems that the trough coming of the US coast may pick it up and move it in a north easternly direction. Although some shearing has already begun, when it gets over warmer water again, it might strengthen a little bit more. Since its forecasted path takes Florence a bit north of Bermuda witin 48 hours, a tropical storm watch has been issued.

September 12, 2000 12:10EDT - Almost a hurricane...
Once again, satellite images turned out to be deceiving. While this system looked like a tropical depression by calculations done on satellite imagery, true data revealed, after our friends the Hurricane Hunters flew in the storm, that it was already a strong tropical storm. Winds are still near 70mph, meaning that it is very close to hurricane strength.
Is it threathening any (is)land? Not at this time. Right now Florence is just wandering around a little bit, about 365 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, and about 515 west-southwest of Bermuda. Although still very uncertain, computer models indicate that Florence should stay off the US mainland and pass north of Bermuda. In any case, although it is forecasted that Florence will reach hurricane status soon, it should be at most 'just' a Category-1 storm. Something Bermuda can handle without a problem.

September 11, 2000 12:05EDT - Tropical Depression 10
The area of disturbed weather, the 'remnants' of the tropical wave, now has a low pressure system associated with it, so it has been upgraded to tropical depression 10. (Number 9 was a very short lived depression in the Gulf which made landfall just after it has been qualified as such). Number 10 is located about 475 miles west-south west of Bermuda and it is moving that direction. However it is not expected to move much. Although TD#10 might be upgraded to a tropical storm later, it is not expected to reach hurricane status since upper level winds are not really optimal.

September 6, 2000 1:15EDT - That pesky tropical wave...
Looking at satellite images of the tropical wave, now located about 750 miles west of the Caribbean, or around 16N, 48W, it seems to be the obvious candidate to become Florence. Although it looks pretty organized now for a couple of days it is still no tropical depression. Computer models however do predict that it will reach tropical storm status in the next 72 hours, despite the fact that it looks less organized now then before. The system is moving west northwest at about 15 mph and hopefully it will pass north of the islands before it has become something. Although it is peak season now, the rest of the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf is quiet.

- - - Chris, Debbie, Ernesto - - -
For the latest NHC advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator

September 5, 2000 23:45EDT - Recap
From August 15 through September 3 I was island hopping through the Caribbean. Indeed, I timed my vacation just before the peak of hurricane season. I still think that hurricanes are an unusual event. Since I could not write the discussions, Dave McDermott volunteered to take over for me. These were posted on the St.Thomas Updates webpage. Thanks Dave!
Recapping these 3 storms, Chris was a very short lived tropical storm. Located just west of the islands it was classified as a tropical storm for only 2 advisories (12 hours). Debbie on the other hand did have some impact on the islands. It seemed that Debbie could pose a relatively major threat for the islands. The only hurricane of the three took a path a la Georges, but other then dumping a lot of rain on Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Jamaica, which caused some mudslides, the islands battered the storm quite well. I was actually on Tortola. Despite the fact that the center passed over the island, there were no major problems. Check out the individual island reports for more details. Ernesto was another short lived tropical storm. Before it even reached the islands it had already fallen apart.

- - - Beryl - - -
For the latest NHC advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator

August 13, 2000 23:50EDT - Tropical Depression Five
And there is a new tropical depression. It is located in the Gulf of Mexico. Again, no threat to Caribbean islands, so unless things change not much attention will be given to this storm on this website. Links to other excellent websites see QHWRN or the Links-section in the practical guide.

- - - Tropical Depression Four - - -
For the latest NHC advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator

August 9, 2000 12:24EDT - Tropical Depression Four
And we have a new tropical depression. It is a very small system, maximum sustained winds are only 35mph. This depression is located about 195 east of Melbourne, Florida. It is expected to slowly drift northwestward. Also, it is not expected to strengthen a lot. Since it is located about 120 miles north of the Bahamas, no threat to the islands is expected, and therefore, unless things change, not much attention to this 'storm' will be given here.

- - - Alberto - - -
For the latest NHC advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
Local updates from the islands can be found above.

August 12, 2000 14:00EDT - A Category 3!
One last note on Alberto... It has significantly strengthened over the last day or so. Earlier I noted that Alberto was never an impressive storm. Now maximum sustained winds are 125 mph. This makes it a strong category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale! The first major hurricane of the season and hopefully the last. I am happy that it stayed clear of all the islands, incl. Bermuda, although they might expect or already have some wave action, with accompanied beach erosion...

August 10, 2000 12:05EDT - Almost gone
Although Alberto has been reclassified to a hurricane, it is still (nor ever was) an impressive storm. All models indicate that Alberto should pass by Bermuda at a safe distance.

August 9, 2000 12:10EDT - Next
Last night Alberto was downgraded to a tropical storm. It's center is now located at 22.4N, 50.5W. Alberto will continue to move northwestward, so there will not be any problems for the islands. It will also stay clear of the US coast. The only little question mark is Bermuda, but models indicated that it will pass well east of the island with the pink beaches as well.

August 8, 2000 17:00EDT - Yes!
Alberto's center is now located at 18.8N, 47.0W. Yes, indeed, this is already more north then the NE islands, plus it is still almost 1000 miles away from it! Even better, Alberto has weakened. Maximum sustained winds are near 75 mph, and this hurricane may be downgraded to a tropical storm later on. It might strengthen later again when it moves into a more favorable environment with less shear and higher sea surface temperatures. But for now, it looks like Alberto will continue to wobble west northwest to northwest, keeping a safe distance from the islands!

August 8, 2000 1:45EDT - Goodbye?
I am becoming more and more convinced that this first hurricane of the 2000 season will be a no-event for the Caribbean islands. Although it is still moving a little north of due west, the trough just ahead of the hurricane should pick it up and steer it northward enough so that it will stay clear of the islands. Also, Alberto is undergoing some shear (due to the trough) and since water temperatures are so-so it has slightly weakened. To me (and in fact the National Hurricane Center) the Caribbean can breathe a little more easily. I know, with all the hurricanes in the last couple of years, any Cape Verde storm which keeps moving due west will hit a nerve with the people on the islands. We are sick and tired of these hurricanes. And it looks like we get a break for now with Alberto.

August 7, 2000 16:45EDT - Still ok
The 5PM advisories issued by the National Hurricane Center show that Alberto is still moving a little north from due west. Alberto is currently at 16.6N, 42.8W, so a little more north then earlier reported. Computer models are still in agreement that Alberto will stay well clear of the islands. The official forecast shows that in 24 hours the center of Alberto will be at 17.9N, 47.1W, so more or less the latitude of the northernmost islands, but a very safe distance (over 800 miles) to the east. Hurricane force winds at the moment extend outward from the center to only 25 miles (tropical storm force winds 105 miles). So it still looks good for the islands. Hopefully it will turn far enough north and then turns northeastward before Alberto reaches the US mainland.

August 7, 2000 13:30EDT - Not much new
Not much has changed since last night. Alberto is beginning to look like a 'nice' hurricane, with an eye almost visible. Although it is still not moving a lot northward (center is now at 16.3N), all computer models indicate that it will stay clear of the islands (see this tracking map, courtesy NRLM). But still, we have to keep a close eye on this storm, since you never know.
There are some other areas of 'disturbed' weather. But nothing should pose a threat for the islands.

August 6, 2000 23:40EDT - Looks like it is going to happen!
Quick Update: The center of Alberto is already at 16N! Another degree more to the north. Two more to go. And it looks like it's going to happen. Even faster than earlier thought! In 36 hours Alberto is forecasted to be already at 18.5N, 44.9W. Much earlier then I wrote just 8 hours ago! Great!

August 6, 2000 15:15EDT - Looking better!
Although Alberto has reached hurricane status (the satellite images were a little bit deceiving, and the system was stronger then expected at the time that I wrote the little blurb yesterday), there is good indication that Alberto will move north of the islands. At this time Alberto is still moving west or a little north of due west. The center is located at 14.9N, 36W. It's forward speed has decreased somewhat to 13 mph. Alberto is still a long way from the islands (~1500 miles or more than 4 days at its current speed). It's future track is mainly dependent on the ridge building north of Alberto. The 3 day forecast brings the center of Alberto in 3 days at 18.0N, 51.5W. We would like it to move north of 18N, 63W so it will stay clear of the islands, so the 3 day forecast indicates that it will have reached the right latitude about 650 miles east of the islands (see this excellent tracking map at the NRL Monterey website. As you can see, it will move a little north of due west for awhile, then it should turn more northwest. Hopefully this forecast will hold true. Regardless, little strengthening is expected due to low sea surface temperatures (SSTs), and this is a small (area wise) hurricane. Above you can read some local updates from the islands by the special hurricane correspondents. As can be expected they are a little edgy with this first storm of the season seemingly coming right at them.

August 5, 2000 15:50EDT - Moving along
Maximum sustained winds are now near 60 mph. Alberto is still just a tropical storm. In fact, the system looks less healthy then it did yesterday. Alberto is moving west north west, near 15 mph. The center is now located at 14.4N, so it moved 2 degrees latitude north since yesterday. A good sign, since we want to have the system go north of 18N, otherwise it could pose problems for the islands.
The 3 day forecast indicates that it still might reach hurricane strength in three days. Yesterday it looked like it would strengthen much faster, but apparently the conditions (esp. the sea surface temperatures) are not that great yet. The only bad thing is that it looks like there is a ridge building further to the west, north of this system, which might steer Alberto on a more westernly track. Let's hope that this turn will be too late for it to move along the islands. In any case, this doesn't look like to become a very strong hurricane. If Alberto would have formed in this far east in the beginning of September I would have been more worried. SSTs are just too low right now.

August 4, 2000 12:00EDT - First Named Storm
It was inevitable, we have our first tropical storm of the season. It is located way east, south of the Cape Verde Islands (close to Africa). Although it is pretty late for the first named storm to form (see below), it is kind of early to have a storm develop this far to the east. It's center is located at 12.4N25W, and is moving west near 17 mph. The northernmost 'northeastern' islands ar located around latitude 18N and 62W. So lets hope it will move around 5.5 degrees north (~380 miles) over 37 degrees longitude (~2150 miles). Which shouldn't be too hard.
The National Hurricane Center thinks it might strengthen into a hurricane over the next day or so, however, water temperatures are still pretty low at this time of the year in the central Atlantic. So we'll see what happens, we have enough time to monitor it before Alberto gets close to the islands.
And on a separate note, Dr. Gray (the well-respected seasonal hurricane activity forecaster) and his team at Colorado State University issued their final predictions for this season. They reduced (yeah!) the number of tropical storms from 8 to 7. Also they expect one less hurricane (7) and major hurricane (3) to develop out of these tropical storms. Main reason for the downplay is the earlier then anticipated fading of La Niña. For more details visit their website. This adjustment of the forecast was expected, see below.
He also notes that although we had a late start that this doesn't mean that it will be a slow season. I dwelled on that a little earlier as well (see below). Dr. Gray even said that there is even evidence for a slight negative relationship, ie., the later the season starts the more storms total for that year. Although I don't see that relationship (see: First Storm of the Season).

July 23, 2000 - Still quiet... (revisited)
Great isn't it! End of July, and still no storm on the horizon! You almost start to think that this is an unusual year. But no, not really. I just added a little segment to the First Storm of the Season feature. There you can see that for 60% of the years (since 1886) the first tropical system has formed by July 23 in the Atlantic. So we are now in the other 40%. If only storms passing through the Eastern Caribbean are taken into account, where the season normally starts later anyway, only for 17% of the years the first storm has formed by this date. And as can be found on that webpage as well, a late start, unfortunately, doesn't mean a quiet season.

July 12, 2000 - Still quiet...
It's already July, and still no named storm! The Tropical Outlook doesn't even report any areas of possible development. The Gulf of Mexico, where we normally would see a storm develop, is very, very quiet. Skies are all clear! Let's keep it this way!
However, is this unusual? No, not really. I just added a new part to the Climatology-section: First Storm of the Season. There you can see that, for example, in 1914 the first storm didn't form until September 14! Also, unfortunately, a late start doesn't mean that the remainder of the season will be less active. But well, let's just enjoy the peace for now.

- - - TD #2 - - -
For the latest NHC advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator


June 25, 2000 18:30EDT - Gone too!
And this system didn't make it either. It's too early for this in the Atlantic. The tropical depression has now become a tropical wave and will bring some squally weather and rain to the islands in a few days. Nothing unusual.

June 24, 2000 12:30EDT - Tropical Depression Number Two
A tropical depression has formed far in the Eastern Atlantic. If it becomes our first name storm is still the question. Seawater surface temperatures are still too cold, and climatology shows that there has never formed a tropical storm that far east (the 'center' of this depression is now at 9.6N, 29.9W). Yesterday I just added a new part to the climatology section; point of origin of tropical systems. In the month of June the most easternly point of origin was around 45W (Ana in 1979). So it is very uncommon for a system to even develop 15 degrees more to the east. But we have seen strange things in the past, so let's see what happens. See point of origin webpage.

- - - TD #1 - - -
For the latest NHC advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator

June 8, 2000 17:05EDT - Gone
Final advisory on the 'storm' was just issued. It never reached tropical storm status. So no Alberto yet.

June 7, 2000 17:15EDT - Tropical Depression Number One
The first tropical depression formed in the Bay of Campeche. This system is not really expected to develop into something dangerous. Also, it will form no threat to the Caribbean Islands.

- - - 2 0 0 0 - - -


June 7, 2000 - Hurricane forecast upped by one
Today the updated hurricane forecast came out, as prepared by Dr. Gray and his team at Colorado State University. They adjusted their April forecast a little bit. One more (intense) hurricane. The main contributor to this expected increased activity is that they think that La Niña will last through the season. This despite reports from other scientists that La Niña is on its last legs. See e.g. this press release issued by NASA. If La Niña is gone sooner than Dr. Gray thinks, his current prediction of 12 named storms, of which 8 become hurricanes and 4 of these intense hurricanes, is too high. Regardless, it won't be as bad as in the last 5 years (hopefully). The probability that an intense hurricane (cat.3-5) will make landfall somewhere in the Caribbean is 15% higher then normal. See also the Climatology-section for more info on historical data.

June 6, 2000 - Climatology
I finally got around to update the climatology-section. Plotted are storm tracks for specific Caribbean regions and islands over the last 100+ years. Also graphs of the number of and category storms passed by some of the islands in each 5 year period since 1945. And there is more. Lots of information. Have fun browsing around through that section!

June 1, 2000 - And we are off...
June 1, officially the start of Atlantic Hurricane Season. Just a formality we hope. The peak for us is end of August, beginning of September. The names for this year are:

     NAME          PRONUNCIATION          NAME          PRONUNCIATION
     ----          -------------          ----          -------------

     ALBERTO       AL-BAIR-TOE            LESLIE
     BERYL         BER-RIL                MICHAEL       MIKE-EL
     CHRIS                                NADINE        NAY-DEEN
     DEBBY                                OSCAR
     ERNESTO       ER-NES-TOE             PATTY
     FLORENCE                             RAFAEL        RA-FA-EL
     GORDON                               SANDY
     HELENE        HE-LEEN                TONY
     ISAAC         EYE-ZAK                VALERIE
     JOYCE                                WILLIAM
     KEITH
Hope we only get to the letter B, or maybe C...

May 25, 2000 - What's ahead?
Traditionally, Dr. Gray and his team at Colorado State University have issued their statistical analyses of the upcoming hurricane season. In short, we might expect 11 named storms (9.3 is 'normal'), 7 develop into a hurricane (normal is 5.8), of these 3 will reach a Category 3-status on the Saffir-Simson scale (2.2 is normal). For the Caribbean Basin hurricane activity is expected to be about 110% of normal (so 10% higher). Last year the Atlantic Hurricane Season was 193% of normal. So it looks relatively good. But we only need one bad storm to spoil a whole season... (Many more details can be found on their website.

In their analyses they try to find so-called analog years. Those are years in which the global oceanic and atmospheric conditions preceding the 'hurricane season' are similar to this year. Those years are: 1956, 1989, 1996, and 1998. 1998 we still remember (see our local updates). Major players for the Caribbean were Georges (15 Sep - 1 Oct) who went on an extensive island hopping tour and Mitch (22 Oct - 9 Nov), which caused many casualties in Honduras. 1996 on the other hand was not too bad (again see our updates). We had Bertha (5-17 Jul) and Hortense (3-16 Sep) making landfall in the Caribbean, and Fran (23 Aug - 10 Sep) caused a lot of damage in the US. Checking out the excellent archive at the former Purdue, now weather.unisys.com website, I realize that 1989 is the year of Hugo (10-25 Sep), that was more or less the first hurricane encounter for many of the Caribbean islands in a long time! In 1956 basically only Betsy (9-20 Aug) was a player in the Caribbean. So, except for Georges and Hugo, those years weren't too bad... It this is going to be a season of late (like last year) or early activity is hard to say, if you look at these analog years. As always, let's just wait and see, we survived all these storms so far, and as long as we are well prepared, we should get through this one ok too.

May 25, 2000 - What's new?
First of all, a slightly new look which should make it easier to browse through this by now extensive website. Also, I am no longer piggy backing on gobeach.com's website. I was getting so many visitors that we were almost shut down by one of our ISPs (Best Internet) if we didn't pay hefty overcharges. The webhosting provider where I opened a special account for the Caribbean Hurricane website, pairNetworks, is much more supportive, so this year we don't expect any problems... Last but not least, we are no longer the Caribbean Hurricane Page, but the Caribbean Hurricane Network and we have our own easy to remember domain name: stormCARIB.com.


- - - Local hurricane correspondents wanted! - - -

Do you live on one of the islands? We need your help! We are looking for more people who are interested in sending us a few paragraphs about the situation on your island before, during and after a storm hits. You don't need to be a weatherman or expert on the subject, just share with us what you know, feel and see on your island. Your help will be really appreciated by Caribbean people living abroad with family living on the islands, future visitors who have their Caribbean dream-vacation booked, etc.etc. Reliable, not-sensationalized information is just so hard to get in crisis situations. Help keep the rest of the world up-to-date with what is really happening! We really need you, Georges is proof! If interested, contact gert@gobeach.com.


GoBeach Vacations
- Your source for the best Caribbean vacation you've ever had! -
http://www.gobeach.com | info@gobeach.com

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