According to the famous Dr. Gray and Dr Klotzbach from the Colorado State University, the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season will be less active than average. The actual forecast calls for a total of 9 names storms, 3 hurricanes and 1 major hurricane. So according to the scientists, the 2014 hurricane season for Puerto Rico will also be less active than normal, in fact the forecast gives Puerto Rico only a 21% of a named storm to be within 50 miles of Puerto Rico. Why should we still get ready? Because how the saying goes, “it only takes one”. Part of the reason why a slower hurricane season is expected is because El Niño is expected to develop. Normally an “El Niño” year means that the Atlantic hurricane season will be slower and a lot of Saharan dust will affect Puerto Rico, which it has so far.
Also, the official forecast from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center indicates that the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season will also be less active than normal. The actual numbers are that there is a 70% chance of the following:
- 8-13 Named Storms (Tropical Storms or Hurricanes)
- 3-6 Hurricanes
- 1-2 Major Hurricanes
As far as the tropical cyclones that affect Puerto Rico, MOST of them are what we call “Cape Verde” storms. Which means that the storm developed from a tropical wave off the west coast of Africa, passing very close to the Cape Verde Islands. Late season storms however may develop to the west of Puerto Rico and move east, but this seldom affects us, but it has threatened us in the past.
The months of August and September are generally the months in which Puerto Rico is normally affected by tropical cyclones, but late July or October storms are not out of the question.
Having said that, there is also another way of making a seasonal forecast, one that “the old people” here in Puerto Rico swear by, and that is “The Avocado Tree Forecast”. According to my avocado tree, Puerto Rico will be busy this season. Last year, the official forecast said that we will have a very active hurricane season, well, my avocado tree disagreed, giving me only a handful of avocados; the tree was right! Last year’s hurricane season was a dud!
However this year my avocado tree is PACKED! Home-made guacamole party at my house!!! =) LOL
If you have never been through a tropical cyclone such as a tropical storm or hurricane you will be in for a treat if we get one. There’s no better way of putting it, having to deal with these systems flat out sucks! First of all you get lots of damage which includes trees, roads, houses, cars, etc. Human and animal life is in danger, but also you get, days without electrical power while it is HOT outside! In fact, make sure you are prepared to be without power for AT LEAST one week. You may also lose water service and sometimes cell phone service takes a hit if the antennas are damaged. Got a generator and can watch TV? Well, if you have cable internet you will likely not have internet or cable for several days.
So life will slow down quite a bit, expect that. Make sure you review the hurricane preparedness plans and act accordingly.
One more thing, it is common for rain and flooding to continue after the hurricane or tropical storm has moved away depending on the structure and trajectory of the storm, expect that too.