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Hurricane Omar Brings High Seas, Rain and More Rain

Within the last 16 hours there have been numerous reports of coastal damages to the west coast villages (i.e. Pointe Michel, Newtown, Dublanc, Portsmouth, etc) of Dominica due to high sea swells as Hurricane Omar has strengthened into a category 3 Hurricane. As of 5 a.m EDT, the center was located 70 miles N of St. Martin Island.

Omar’s maximum sustained winds are 125 mph near the center and according to Weather.com it’s likely peaked and some weakening should occur in the next 24 hours. Currently, hurricane-force winds extend out about 35 miles from the center.

Minister for Education, Sports and Youth Affairs, Hon. Vince Henderson has announced over the Nation radio Station-DBS that there will be no school today and that persons traveling along the west coast of the island should stay home.

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Yes people, the Hurricane season is here again and it started off with a bang with Tropical storm Arthur-the first named storm of the 2008 Atlantic Hurricane Season, developing off the coast of Mexico over the last weekend.

The weak tropical storm quickly made landfall over the Belize/Mexico border one day before the official start of the season.

Arthur dumped ten inches of rain over 36 hours across Belize causing flooding in low-lying areas, leaving four dead and three people missing.

Expert views

Experts are speculating over whether or not climate change will have an impact on future hurricane seasons.

Have your say: do you think that climate change will cause more global warming and in turn cause more intense hurricane seasons?

Predictions

The main 2008 hurricane season outlook from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC), is in collaboration with scientists from the NOAA National Hurricane Center (NHC) and Hurricane Research Division (HRD) predicts a below –normal hurricane season. But the center also predicts that there’s a 65% chance of a “most likely” above –normal season and also a 25% chance of a near-normal season.

Personally I don’t trust predictions – maybe thats why they’re called predictions. The best advice I can give everyone, is to make sure you take all the necessary precautions early (re-enforce them doors and windows, cut all hanging tree branches over the house, start storing up on batteries, lamps and tin food), so if they do come they will be unable to impose too much damage that might leave you homeless.

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