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We have to remember that the hurricane season is still very much with us and that we are certainly moving into a time when it is becoming more likely (according to history) that the tropical storms might pass our way.

Many of the more destructive systems appear to wait until September to start their charge on this area of the Caribbean.

And Even though we have been very fortunate over the last few years, no one would want to suggest that the islands in the Windward chain are bound to escape Mother Nature’s wrath for another year.

There were 16 named tropical storms in the Atlantic last year, including Arthur, which killed five people and caused $78 million in damages on Belize and Hurricane Paloma, the second-most intense hurricane ever recorded in November, Category 4.

Eight Atlantic hurricanes and storms caused an estimated $41 billion in damages and left hundreds dead, more than 800 in Haiti alone.

From now until November, none of these are names which the people of the OECS will want to get too acquainted with – Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor, Wanda.

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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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