This post is also available in: Spanish
In just 2 weeks, on Sunday the 1st of June the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season will start, so what can we expect for the coming months?
Despite common misconceptions, the “dreaded” hurricane season is actually not too bad at all here in the Dominican Republic.
First of all, it is very rare for hurricanes to make landfall in the Dominican Republic, only 11 hurricanes in the last 80 years have actually made landfall on the Dominican soil. The last major hurricane was Hurricane George (category 3) which made land fall on September the 22nd 1998 and before that there was Hurricane David (category 4) in 1979.
And secondly, and perhaps most surprisingly, “peak” hurricane season in the La Romana – August, September and October – does not actually mean endless days of rain, it just means that when it does rain it is much heavier and windier than during the winter months. So although we can expect the occasional blustery, rainy and stormy weather, the sun will continue to shine more often that not.
Atlantic Hurricane Season 2014 – predictions
Every year The Weather Channel (www.weather.com) publishes a “pre-season forecast”, and this year it is as follows:
- 11 named storms (a tropical cyclone becomes a named storm once it has sustained winds of 35mph / 56kph, thus classified as a tropical storm)
- 5 hurricanes
- 2 major hurricanes (category 3 or higher)
These forecast numbers are slightly below both the long-term average (1950-2014) of 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes, 3 major hurricanes.
Revised predictions for the Atlantic Hurricane Season 2014 will be published in mid-June.
The reason for the predicted “less active” season is due to two main factors:
- Cooler than average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic between the Caribbean and Africa. Cold water temperatures will inhibit the development of tropical weather systems.
- The expectation that’ll we’ll have an El Niño. Warm waters in the Pacific, historically tend to create more wind sheer over the atlantic basin, which tends to rip storms apart more easily than in non- El Niño years.
Great news right?
Yes and no….. remember that although meteorologists are now able to accurately predict the approximate number of named storms that will develop in any given season, they are not able to predict where (and if) these storms will make landfall – which means that anyone living (or vacationing in) an area affected by hurricanes (yes that’s us in the Dominican Republic) must be prepared.
Atlantic Hurricane Season 2014 – storm names
I find the “names” of storms amusing, and so in case you do too, here is the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season list of names:
We at Casa de Campo Living will do our best to keep you informed, but we recommend the following links for keeping extra-informed:
- www.nhc.noaa.gov – The National Hurricane Centre
- www.weather.com – The Weather Channel
- ONAMET.gov.do – the Dominican Republic’s official weather warning people (this one is in Spanish)
- Twitter: We recommend following NHC_Atlantic – for regular tweets on hurricanes, tropical storms etc