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Belize braces for “above-average” 2024 hurricane season: NOAA forecasts 17-25 named storms


Posted: Sunday, May 26, 2024. 10:49 am CST.

By Horace Palacio: As the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season looms just days away, Belizeans are bracing for what is predicted to be an “above-average” season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts 17 to 25 named storms, a significant increase from the average of 14.

The season, which officially runs from June 1st to November 30th, has already released its list of storm names, ranging from Alberto to William. These names, predetermined by the World Meteorological Organization, help in tracking and communicating storm information effectively.

NOAA Administrator Dr. Rick Spinrad noted that the forecast for this year is the “highest NOAA has ever issued for the May outlook,” highlighting the importance of preparedness for Belize.

Belize, located in the hurricane belt, is particularly vulnerable to these storms. The country has a history of devastating hurricanes, including Hurricane Hattie in 1961 and Hurricane Mitch in 1998, which caused significant loss of life and property damage.

With the increased likelihood of storms this year, authorities are urging residents to take necessary precautions, such as preparing emergency kits, creating evacuation plans, and staying informed about weather updates.

The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has been actively conducting training and awareness programs to ensure that Belizeans are prepared for any potential hurricane threat.

While the names of the storms may seem harmless, the potential impact they can have on Belize is serious. The upcoming season serves as a reminder of the importance of being prepared and staying vigilant in the face of nature’s fury.

The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season has a predetermined list of names ready to be assigned to any developing storms: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Francine, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Milton, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tara, Valerie, and William. These names, however, are not permanent. Throughout history, 94 hurricane names have been retired since 1953 due to the catastrophic damage and loss of life they caused. Among these retired names are some of the most notorious storms in recent memory, including Katrina, Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Stay tuned for further updates and advisories from NEMO throughout the hurricane season.


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