[stormCARIB - Caribbean Hurricane Network'

Caribbean Hurricane Network

- Updates from the Islands -
2001 Season

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Archive of weather discussions and eye witness reports from the Caribbean Islands in the 2001 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.

Index: | Season Preview | Allison | Barry | Chantal | Dean | Erin | Felix | Gabrielle | Humberto |
The following storms are covered in part 2: Iris | Jerry | Karen | Lorenzo | Michelle | Noel | Olga

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 2001 Hurricane Season by following the links below.

- Antigua (Apr 27)
- Tortola (Apr 17)
- Martinique (Apr 6)
- Guadeloupe (Apr 6)
- Dominica (Apr 3)
- Belize (Mar 29)
- St.Kitts (Jan 15)
- Nevis (Dec 17)
- St.Maarten/St.Martin (Dec 16)
- St.Lucia (Dec 15)
- Bahamas (Nov 15)
- Puerto Rico (Nov 10)
- Cuba (Nov 7)
- Bermuda (Nov 6)
- Cayman Islands (Nov 6)
- Jamaica (Nov 6)
- Dominican Republic (Nov 5)
- Trinidad & Tobago (Nov 4)
- Honduras (Nov 3)
- Anguilla (Oct 14)
- Mexico (incl. Cozumel & Cancun) (Oct 9)
- St.Thomas (Oct 8)
- Grenada (Oct 8)
- St.Vincent & Grenadines (Oct 8)
- Panama (Oct 8)
- Barbados (Oct 7)
- Haiti (Oct 5)
- Culebra (PR) (Oct 4)
- Saba & Statia (Sep 17)
- Turks & Caicos (Aug 23)
- St.Croix (Jun 25)
- Misc. Updates & Stories (Jun 14)

- - - Humberto - - -

For the latest hurricane statements and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
Tools: How Close is it? - How close can it get? - My Satellite - Advisories

Sat, 22 Sep 2001 17:30EDT - Humberto
Tropical Depression Number Ten has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Humberto. It is located in the northwestern Atlantic, not threathening any landmass. It is expected to go between Bermuda and the States. Humberto is expected to stay as far as 250 miles from Bermuda, although it will probably experience some heavy rains.

- - - Nine - - -
For the latest hurricane statements and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
Tools: How Close is it? - How close can it get? - My Satellite - Advisories

Wed, 19 Sep 2001 17:30EDT - Number Nine
Just before the tropical wave in off Nicaragua was to go over land it has been classified as a tropical depression by the National Hurricane Center. The ninth depression of the season will make landfall soon. Not much problems with the winds is expected. The only side effect of this system will be the torrential rains, esp. in the mountains.

Sat, 15 Sep 2001 10:35:35 -0300 - Marilyn 1995
Boy, I almost forgot as this weeks events have made this item trivial at the moment; but today, September 15, 2001 is the 6 year anniversary of Hurricane Marilyn here in the Virgin Islands. With the national tragedy that has occurred, this event is, but a clear memory and learning experience. I only hope the WTC catastrophe's leave the same with our leaders.
St. Thomas 

Sat, 15 Sep 2001 10:20:52 -0300 - Not much tropics wise
Not much in the way of tropical activity other than Felix (moving towards the Azores) and TS Gabrielle ( ending once and for all Florida's drought situation). A mere wave is edging closer to the lower islands but doesn't promise much at this time.
Makes you wonder if we will have a late flare-up in October or even early November!
St. Thomas

Wed, 12 Sep 2001 20:50:09 -0300 - Tropics
A sad day for not only Americans, but all humanity as well.
The tropics, as far as the Caribbean is concerned, are quite as Felix moves away, Hurricane Erin "finally" starts to fizzle, and soon-to-be TS Gabrielle threatens Florida and the gulf coast. We only have a lonely wave out there and it is quite low at that.
St. Thomas

- - - Gabrielle - - -
For the latest hurricane statements and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
Tools: How Close is it? - How close can it get? - My Satellite - Advisories

Sat, 15 Sep 2001 13:25EDT - Bermuda...
Gabrielle went over Florida and is now over open waters. There is no threat to the mainland USA, and as it looks right now, it will stay clear of Bermuda as well. The last advisories show a closest point of approach to Bermuda of about 250 miles, in about 60 hours. The storm is quite weak now as well, it is not expected to become a hurricane.

Tue, 11 Sep 2001 16:55EDT - Number Eight
Tropical Depression formed in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida. Since it is not threathening the Caribbean islands we will not discuss it here. You can however use the tools How Close is it? and How close can it get?.

- - - Felix - - -
For the latest hurricane statements and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
Tools: How Close is it? - How close can it get? - My Satellite - Advisories

Tue, 11 Sep 2001 13:35EDT - Felix
Seven became Felix. It is and will not threathen the islands. But who cares about hurricanes right now... What happened today is just totally beyond everything.

Mon, 10 Sep 2001 23:45:47 -0300 - Felix??
Systems sure are having a hard time getting their act together this year as that wind stuff called "shear" is having a ball tearing them apart as they get going. 
TD# 7 should have been Felix by now and probably will be by tomorrow night. I'm looking at the system behind it and the next. With "pseudo-Felix" out of the way, these systems will be possibly able to obtain their own identities and the conditions are pretty ripe.
We'll see as the pretenders have taken over this season and have the experienced meteorologists perplexed!!
St. Thomas
P.S. Erin wound up to be a whopper but fortunately, no land masses were directly impacted. At least, it made up it's mind! 

Mon, 10 Sep 2001 23:40EDT - Almost Felix...
This depression looks very impressive on the Infra-Red satellite imagery (see centered image and loop), but it is still no tropical storm. It looks quite certain that the islands don't have to worry about this thing at all, over the last 18 hours the northward component has been more then 2 degrees and it is still about 950 miles from say Antigua. Right now the center is at 17.5N, while the northeastern islands are at around 18N, so it's looking good. The closest point of approach is forecasted to be about 740 miles from the islands, which is reached in almost 2 days.

Sun, 9 Sep 2001 20:30EDT - No Felix!
Good news regarding Seven. Apparerently since Seven was locked in between two other tropical waves, it couldn't do 'its thing'. Good for us! At least that's how it looks right now. When it gets more space it might re-develop. It still looks like it though that it will pass north of the islands.

Fri, 7 Sep 2001 17:30EDT - Tropical Depression Seven
One of the two tropical waves in the Atlantic (the one furthest away from the islands) has become organized enough to be called a tropical depression. It is forecasted to become tropical storm Felix in the next day or two. As it looks right now it will go north of the islands, but it's still too far out there (more then 5 days) to know for sure.

- - - Erin - - -
For the latest hurricane statements and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
Tools: How Close is it? - How close can it get? - My Satellite - Advisories

Sun, 9 Sep 2001 20:05EDT - Bermuda
Erin became the first hurricnane of the season. And not just a hurricane. With winds packing near 120 mph, it reached category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, an 'extreme' or 'severe' hurricane. It is looking quite impressive on satellite-imagery (see the archive). At around this time it is having it's closest approach to Bermuda. The center is about 100 miles from the island. Fortunately Bermuda is well without reach of the hurricane force winds, but it is experiencing tropical force winds. Personally I know how well the homes on Bermuda are built, so I don't expect too much trouble for the island. For first-hand reports by the special hurricane correspondents follow go to the Bermuda Updates-page.

Wed, 5 Sep 2001 22:24:31 -0300 - New waves!
Just when you thought it was going to be really quiet, have you checked out the tropical atlantic satellite recently?? Erin may be just an afterthought but the wave which just came off Africa is very impressive and the next wave near 40W is no slouch either. Entering the peak weeks of hurricane season, and contemplating how quiet it's been can only make people nervous looking at these two. And with good reason.
Tune in tomorrow!!
St. Thomas

Wed, 5 Sep 2001 1:30EDT - Finally going North!
Well, it took a while, but now Erin finally moves on a more distinct northwesternly track. It is getting closer to the islands (the latest advisory pin point the center at about 425 miles from Antigua and 510 miles from St.Maarten), but it still looks like it will pass well north of the northeastern islands. It is already half a degree latitude north of Antigua. The closest point of approach is estimated at about 240-245 miles for both Antigua and St.Maarten which will be reached in about 24 hours. Since not much strenghtening is expected of this relatively weak tropical system (it is by far a strong hurricane) we don't have to be too concerned about Erin as it looks right now. But as always, since it is over warmer waters right now, you never really know what is going to happen, but so far, so good. The other wave we were talking about earlier is more or less a goner. But another big wave will roll off the African coast soon. Hopefully it will desintegrate as well when it hits the cooler waters of the far eastern Atlantic.

Mon, 3 Sep 2001 16:45EDT - Going North!
It looks almost certain now that Erin will stay clear of the Islands. The latest 3 day forecast shows that the center of Erin will stay about 320 miles from Antigua, and about 340 miles from St.Maarten/St.Martin (more islands). As an added boon, Erin is weakening, and although it will travel over warmer waters soon (which is conducive to strengthening), it remains a question if Erin can recover. So good news! There is another wave way out there, we'll see what that will do. But so far, no complaints about this hurricane season!

Sun, 2 Sep 2001 12:41:20 -0300 - Erin
TS Erin is looking fairly impressive but is forecast to pull to the northwest over the next few days as he/she poses no threat to any land mass. Other than Erin, it's still really quiet.
Here in St. Thomas, we had a T-Storm last night but the BVI's and St. John received the most rain. Still, better than nothing. Today is great with plenty of sunshine and a brisk easterly breeze.
St. Thomas

Sat, 1 Sep 2001 18:36:21 -0300 - TD #6
TD #6 continues to roll along and looks impressive on satellite imagery. Unless something drastic happens, this system, soon to be named Tropical Storm Erin, will pass well north of the Leeward and Windward islands. Most computer models still predict a minimal hurricane within 48-72 hours as conditions remain favorable.
Meanwhile, here in St. Thomas, a T-Storm just passed over in conjuction with an upper level trough. Still, not enough rain to talk about ( around 15 minutes steady and medium fall). Very humid now with little breeze to speak about although more rain is forecast this evening!
Happy Labor Day weekend to All!!
St. Thomas

Sat, 1 Sep 2001 00:34:04 -0300 - Maybe??
Good morning everyone! Looks like our wave southwest of the Cape Verdes has strengthened a bit as of 8:00 pm AST as it dropped 2 mb  from 6 hours previously. You couldn't really tell that though by looking at satellite imagery as it has lost considerable convection since yesterday.
SST's are very favorable, upper level winds have lessened considerably, and sitting under an upper level ridge is enhancing favorable development status. However, this wave must be related to Chantal; will I or won't I??
Most long range models indicate no TS formation west of 55W by Wednesday which leaves not much to wonder about. The above wave is still forecast to reach hurricane status but move in a NW fashion where cooler waters will effectively kill it.
Another monster is poised to exit the African coast but looking behind it, there is not much to look at; currently.
Tune in. The next 4 weeks will either be docile or the conveyor belt will heat up rapidly!!
St. Thomas

Fri, 31 Aug 2001 11:00EDT - Island Wisdom
Still no hurricanes this year, though this doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a quiet season (see the First Storm of the Season-section). Now there is that big wave in the far eastern Atlantic, fortunately on the latest Meteosat image most of the advection seems to be gone, but it still looks as if it has already some rotation to it.
I also received a note from someone who runs a produce market on St.Croix. She wrote that a local farmer told her yesterday that he loves a year that he doesn't see a lot of avocados and mangoes on the trees (as it is this year) because it means less threat of hurricanes, even though it also means he doesn't make as much money. Let's hope he is right!

Thu, 30 Aug 2001 02:30:54 -0300 - Nothing Much!!!
Good morning to all! Not much to report in the Atlantic Basin at this time. Seems like the fourth time in 50 years a hurricane has yet to form by this date. Makes you wonder; is this the "calm before the storm" situation or have atmospheric conditions colluded to make this storm season a dud?
Tune in the next 12 weeks and we shall have the conclusive answers!! Meanwhile, what do you think?
St. Thomas

- - - Dean - - -
For the latest hurricane statements and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
Tools: How Close is it? - How close can it get? - My Satellite - Advisories

Mon, 27 Aug 2001 10:55EDT - Dean is back
The remnants of Dean have become better organized and has been re-classified to tropical storm status. Fortunately their is no threat to land. Dean is already 560 miles north-northeast of Bermuda.

Sat, 25 Aug 2001 21:15:59 -0300 - Dean remnants and other
Hello to everyone! TS Dean formed quickly and disappeared the same way and is now about to be a strong gale center in the North Atlantic. Not alot to say about this storm like Chantal. At least Dean knew what he wanted or didn't want to do!
Not much else happening in the tropics at this time. A monster wave came off Africa last night but fell victim to cool waters and some shear. Sure looked like an excellent candidate for the next named feature!
Makes you wonder; is this the "quiet before the storm?" Or will we actually have a tranquil 2001 Hurricane season?
Stay tuned!! I believe the quietness will end fairly soon!!
Dave-St. Thomas 

August 22, 2001 - Dean
Tropical Storm formed just north of Puerto Rico. If predictions hold it will veer off to the east, staying just clear of the Bahamas. More later. Gert, California

- - - Chantal - - -
For the latest hurricane statements and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
Tools: How Close is it? - How close can it get? - My Satellite - Advisories

Sun, 19 Aug 2001 11:25:26 -0300 - Chantal
TS Chantal! Does she "wannabe" a hurricane or does she "notwannabe"? That is the question at the moment. I believe she does but she still hasn't put her act together yet. Most of the convection is north of center which isn't even symmetrical.
Chantal is entering a more favorable environment though and has slowed down considerably. By 5:00 pm AST today, she should be upgraded to minimal hurricane status. But who can tell with this one??
Otherwise, the Atlantic Basin is quiet with one disorganized wave in the central part. Development of this would be slow, if at all.
Chantal was a good (dry?) run in order to get people on their toes here in the Esatern Caribbean. I'm not so sure she will be that nice to the Yucatan Peninsula.

Sat, 18 Aug 2001 11:39:17 -0300 - Chantal
Hello again. Chantal doesn't seem to know what she wants to become; a little girl or a mature lady! Wave, TS, Wave, TD, TS....She has lost alot of convection but is still formidable and is forecast to turn into a hurricane entering the Gulf of Mexico. If so, she will be a dangerous storm as the conditions are extremely ripe for faster intensification. As it stands, copious amounts of rainfall will fall on Jamaica creating flash floods and mudslides.
Turning towards the east, a new wave has exited the African coast this morning and is very interesting already. Otherwise, things are fairly quiet but, as we all well know, they can heat up rapidly.
St. Thomas

Thu, 16 Aug 2001 22:37:22 -0300 - Chantals temporary Demise?
Hello!! Tropical Storm Chantal followed some of the computer model projections by diminishing in strength tonight, mainly due to the strong easterly shear which did not allow her to close circulation and build vertically. It also is reponsible for her rapid movement towards the west; slightly tilting northwest. Also, there is a strong ridge to the north preventing her curvature. Good news for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
However, she has strong convection all along her axis and all other elements remain favorable for regeneration, which I believe will occur.
Here in the Virgin Islands, Chantal was watched with concern although no real preparations for her potential arrival were evident. We are expecting very breezy winds tonight into tomorrow with accompanying bouts of heavy rain tomorrow into Saturday as she races by about 175 miles south of St. Croix. The rain is definitely needed!!!
Dave, St. Thomas

Thu, 16 Aug 2001 11:11:00 -0300 - Tropical Storm Chantal
Hello everyone!! We had a short but intense thunderstorm last night around 10:45 pm and the resulting lightning knocked out my power for 6 1/2 hours so I was unable to file a report earlier. Kind of a short reminder I believe!!!
Now that I'm back up Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica, if you had any drought conditions, it looks like they will be over very soon.  Chantal should be affecting your areas within the next 3-4 hours as a weak TS.Her forward speed has slowed a bit but she is still experiencing easterly shear preventing rapid intensification. I believe we will have Hurricane Chantal within two days but our islands will be spared the brunt. The Leewards from Puerto Rico on down are pretty much protected by a strong ridge to the north of Chantal which is preventing her from curving north. So, a fairly straight, slight curving track is the forecast. Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and points further west and even into the Gulf of Mexico should pay close attention to this demure but potentially dangerous storm.
As far as the US Virgin Islands are concerned, we definitley need more rain as that last wave seemed to pull up short right before it reached us. Not many happy people with that!!!!

August 8, 2001 - My Satellite
And just added another great tool! Create your own high resolution satellite images centered on your island. With the My Satellite-tool it makes it easier then ever to see where that 'tropical shower' is coming from and if it will ever end...

August 7, 2001 - Updated Hurricane Forecast
Traditionally in August, Dr. Gray and his research team at Colorado State University issue a trird update on their hurricane activity forecast orginally issued in December of last year. The good news is I guess that he doesn't predict more storms compared to the last update. All numbers stay the same: twelve named storms, seven of these will reach hurricane strength and 3 of them will be intense (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simson Scale). For most of the Caribbean Islands only these severe hurricane pose a significant threat. So despite the fact that hurricane activity will be 20% above normal, the chances of an intense hurricane making landfall in your island remains pretty small. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't be prepared though. But compared to the last five years, I think that for this season we can breath a little bit easier. We'll see...
You can find Dr.Gray's full article and press release on the Colorado State U. website.

- - - Barry - - -
For the latest hurricane statements and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator
-- Barry Advisory Listing --

August 2, 2001 15:30EDT - Barry
The second named storm of the season just formed in the Gulf of Mexico. Hopefully it won't be such a rainmaker as Allison (Houston is still not back to normal...). Since it doesn't threaten any Caribbean Island you will not find detailed accounts here. You can however check how close it is or how close it can get to where you live...

July 23, 2001 - How close can it get?
Another new interactive feature has been added to the website: How close can it get?. With this feature you can find the closest point of approach of the eye of the storm given the 3 day forecast as issued by the National Hurricane Center.

June 15, 2001 - How close is it?
Just added a new feature to the Caribbean Hurricane Network website: How close is it?. Now you can quickly find out how far the eye of the storm is from your island. If you know how fast the storm is moving you can check when the eye will make landfall. By entering the distance that tropical storm winds extend from the center, you will know how much time you have left to prepare. Of course these estimate are not completely accurate since the calculations assume that the storm is moving in a straight line at you at a constant speed, plus that the windfield doesn't change over that time.

June 7, 2001 5:01EDT - More activity foreseen for 2001
Today Dr. Gray, the renowned hurricane forecaster of Colorado State University, issued it's third activity forecast for this season. And the bad news is that it doesn't look as good as the earlier two. The researchers had predicted two intense hurricanes, five hurricanes and nine named storms in their initial December forecast. Those numbers were raised slightly, to 10 named storms and six hurricanes, in the April update. The April numbers approximated rather closely the long-term (1950-1990) yearly average of 9.3 named storms, 5.8 hurricanes and 2.2 intense hurricanes. The new estimate is 12 named storms (+2), 7 hurricanes (+1) of which 3 (+1) intense (Cat-3, 4 or 5). The net tropical cyclone activity is expected 20% above normal.

Reasons given are current oceanographic and meteorological conditions in the central Atlantic and the absense of our friend El Nino. For more information see the Colorado State U. website.

In the graph below the average number of tropical systems in 5 year periods for the Atlantic season is shown. The total number of named storms (ns) is plotted in blue, in green total hurricanes (hr) and in red intense hurricane (xhr). The dotted line is the long term average. It can be seen that despite the expected above normal activity for this year, it is still significant lower than for the last very active 5-year period 1995-1999 (13.2 ts, 8.2 hr, 4 xhr). More historical information (including a breakdown for different islands/areas) can be found in the climatology section. For some islands, like e.g. St.Maarten/St.Martin and Antigua the last 5 year period stands out much more.

Finally, a cautionary note, although we do focus a lot on the number of forecasted hurricanes, only one big one making landfall near you is enough to spoil the whole season! BE PREPARED!

- - - Allison - - -
For the latest hurricane advisories and satellite images see our Quick Hurricane Web Resource Navigator

June 5, 2001 15:15EDT - Allison
Hurricane season has just started, and here we have the first named storm! Normally, this early in the season we have to watch the Gulf of Mexico (see climatology), and indeed, this weak system is located about 80 miles south-southeast of Galveston, Texas. It is expected to touch land in about 12 hours. Other then a lot of rain not too much problems expected. Because of its close proximity to land this will be a very short lived system. Since it is not threathening any of the Caribbean Island, not much more information will be posted on Allison. The latest hurricane advisories and satellite images can be found at our QHWRN.

June 2, 2001 - Press Release
Received the following press release through the Mid-Atlantic Weather Station list:
- Atlantic Hurricane Season Off with a Whimper, Reuters (June 1, 2001)

June 1, 2001 - 2001 Atlantic Hurricane Season
June 1, that dreaded day. It always comes too soon. The official start of the Hurricane Season. Let's hope it will be a quiet one and not as busy as the last 5 or so years. On June 7 there will be an updated forecast for this season so keep in touch. Hopefully it won't be that different from forecasts issued earlier for this season (see below). The names for this year:

     ALLISON                          LORENZO
     BARRY                            MICHELLE
     CHANTAL       SHAN-TAL           NOEL
     DEAN                             OLGA
     ERIN          AIR-IN             PABLO         PA-BLOW
     FELIX         FEEL-IX            REBEKAH
     HUMBERTO      OOM-BAIR-TOE       TANYA         TAHN-YA
     IRIS          EYE-RIS            VAN
     JERRY                            WENDY

May 31, 2001 - Another press release
Better forecasting ahead?: New Techniques for Hurricane Season, AP, May 31, 2001

May 24, 2001 - Press releases
Just one more week, and then is the official start of Atlantic Hurricane Season. That doesn't mean that hurricanes start popping up right away. The first months are usually very slow because of the still relatively cool ocean waters. An average season is expected, that will be a nice change from the last 5 years or so.
I have received a couple of press-release which I want to share with you all (#2 and 3 were send through the Mid-Atlantic Weather Station list):
1 - Wm. Gray comments on June 1 start of hurricane season, Colorado State U. (May 16, 2001)
2 - Hurricane forecasting faces challenges, Scripps Howard News Service (May 18, 2001)
3 - Forecasters predict normal hurricane season, AP (May 21, 2001)

April 6, 2001 10:05PDT - Second 2001 Forecast
An updated forecast of Atlantic hurricane activity has been issued by Dr. Gray and his team at Colorado State U. 'Highlights': One more hurricane expected compared to the December forecast (6, which is about average). The number of Category 3 and higher (the storms we fear most) stayed the same (2 [= average]). Also, the expected risk of a major hurricane making landfall in the Caribbean is about average. Compared to the last 3 ultra-busy years, the upcoming season will have less major hurricanes at lower latitudes and more, but weaker, forming at higher latitudes (good for us). Also, compared to the last three years, they expect more activity in the early part of the season, ie. before mid-August. Last year the first storm didn't form until August 4. (More info on climatology of the 'First Storm of the Season' can be found here). An 'average' season will feel like a very slow season compared to the last 5 years!

The full report: http://typhoon.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/2001/april2001/; the press release can be found here.

December 8, 2000 01:10 EST - First 2001 Forecast
Dr. Gray and his team at Colorado State University issued their first statistical forecast for the 2001 Atlantic Hurricane Season. This year the La Niña didn't want to go away, resulting in above average hurricane activity. For next summer an El Niño might develop, which normally reduces hurricane activity. From their press-release (full report at http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/forecasts/):

     For 2001, they forecast nine named storms, five hurricanes and two 
     major (Saffir-Simpson category 3-4-5) hurricanes. This compares with 
     a 1950-90 average of 9.3 named storms, 5.8 hurricanes and 2.2 major 
     hurricanes a year, which is only half the average seasonal activity 
     of the last three years. 

Yes, right, half the average seasonal activity of the last three years! Unfortunately not everything is positive. Over the last 6 years the North Atlantic Ocean is slowly warming. Higher sea surface temperatures are conducive to stronger hurricanes. Therefore the chance is relatively higher for severe (Category 3, 4 or 5) hurricanes. As we have experienced in the past the islands can handle a tropical storm, or Category 1 or even Category 2 hurricane. It's those Category 3 and up hurricanes we fear... Another thing to keep in mind that the 'analog years' (years with similar oceanographic and atmospheric conditions) show a few storms travelling relatively south. These islands already got a wake-up call this year with Joyce (see below). Full details on these analog years (1951, 1953, 1957, 1963, and 1965) can be found at weather.unisys.com. The one major hurricane making 'island-fall' in these 5 years was Flora in 1963 (all the way south in Trinidad & Tobago and then moving on to Haiti and Cuba where an estimated 7,190 people died).

The names for next season will be: Allison, Barry, Chantal, Chantal, Dean, Erin, Felix, Gabrielle, Humberto, Iris, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Michelle, Noel, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy. If Dr. Gray is right we will only get to Humberto.

In any case, overall it is looking quite positive for 2001 Atlantic Hurricane Season. An update on this forecast will be issued in April. We will see what happens. Only one big one is needed to spoil a quiet season. Let's bury the thought of another Flora. If anything will happen on the islands you will for sure read about it here! Thank you and see you next year! - Gert ( gert@gobeach.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.

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